Top 5 books I’ve read in 2017
Someone once said not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers. Reading impacts the mind and therefore what we do. These five books have impacted me the most this year and so I had highly recommend them.
Amazing Grace is a very readable biography of William Wilberforce by Eric Metaxas. Wilberforce was the driving force behind the abolition of the slave trade in the 18th Century. He was a committed Christian and UK politician with two passions – to abolish the slave trade and reform manners (which in those days meant change the nation rather than just please and thank you’s!). Metaxas writes with an engaging style and warmth, so you can picture yourself in the room. At one point Wilberforce visits the royal family and has the baby who will be Queen Victoria on his knee – Metaxas writes “And so here, on the miniature plain of the carpet, in a prophetically fitting tableau of domestic happiness, the child who lend the future era her name met the man who lend it his character.”
As I read the book I found myself asking God for even just a percent of the impact that Wilberforce had – and he was a man who was frequently ill, had poor eyesight and yet achieved in God so much!
One of things that I’m having to work on as the church grows is leading through team. This business book has been so helpful in learning how to help people find their sweet spot, the thing that they are a genius at and developing that. It was a pretty challenging – simple concepts, but some I have not been good at.
I’m not usually too impressed by books with “hidden” or the “secret”, or “the keys” in the title as it normally implies that the author thinks they have special revelation that us mere mortals don’t have yet. They are like a book version of clickbait!
However I remember Mahesh Chavda from the mainstage at Stoneleigh Bible Week. Many of us speak in the gift of tongues, but not much. The “hidden” idea is that we need to be speaking in tongues much more as it is a powerful prayer language. Mahesh has done us a great service and I’m often speaking in tongues for 30mins a day – and looking forward to seeing what that brings!
The Gateway Church is a multicultural family and whenever you mix cultures there are misunderstandings and pitfalls. Erin Meyer’s business book maps out how different cultures approach different aspects of interaction like confrontation, trust, communications. It’s a superbly helpful book.
Over the last few months a few of us have been feeling called by God to fast one day a week as we seek God for revival and more anointing to see the sick healed and the lost saved. John Piper’s book, which is also available as a free pdf on Desiring God is such a help in understanding the place of fasting in our Christian lives. Piper write “in this age there is an ache inside every Christian that Jesus is not here as fully and intimately and as powerfully and a gloriously as we want him to be. We hunger for so much more. That is why we fast.” And that is why this book is well worth downloading or purchasing as we move into 2018 seeking the Lord for so much more.
Perhaps one or more of these should be on your Christmas list?