It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Tomorrow I’ll begin sharing my favorite albums of the year. First, the honorable mentions, then on Friday you’ll get my top 12 albums of the year. Saturday, I share the top blog posts of the year. Today’s list is my favorite books of 2012. To see my list of favorite books from past year, simply click on the numbers: 2009, 2010, and 2011.
To make this list, it does not have to be published in 2012, I only needed to read it in 2012. It was a great year for books. I passed my goal of wanting to read 50 books and was able to get through over 70 books. This list was hard to narrow down, but here are the honorable mentions for the top 12 books of 2012:
The King Jesus Gospel | Scot McKnight
McKnight makes the point that too much of Christianity focuses the gospel simply on the death of Jesus, the forgiveness of our sins and how one can avoid hell and go to heaven. While that is part of the gospel, that is only a part of it. To read my review of this book, click here.
Platform | Michael Hyatt
This is the book that if you are looking to launch a product, a blog, a book or a service that you need to read. Hyatt gives so many ways to set yourself apart from others in your field. To read my review of this book, click here.
Journeys in Significance | Neil Cole
While the book has elements of being a biography of the apostle Paul, it is much more than that. Cole looks at the letters of Paul and the book of Acts and pulls out how his leadership and life were formed. Many people who no idea why they are the way that they are, the strengths and weaknesses they have, why they have are driven or lazy. What Cole does is show us why Paul was the way he was and helps us see why we are the way we are. To read my review of this book, click here.
Sifted | Wayne Cordeiro
What I appreciated about this book was how real it was. As a church planter and leader; trials, challenges and disappointment are part of the territory. It takes maturity and time to see how God uses them and grows you through them. I can honestly say looking back over the last decade of working in churches, that God has used and redeemed many of the trials that I’ve experienced. Click here to read my review of this book.
Now, the top 12 books of 2012:
12. Mandela’s Way | Richard Stengel
Stengel spent years with Mandela, writing his autobiography. Out of that relationship, came his observations on Mandela’s life in terms of how he lived, interacted with others and the lessons of leadership to be gained from his life. This was a fascinating look at a man’s life. Click here to read my review of this book.
11. The President’s Club | Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy
This book starts with Truman and goes all the way until Obama, looking at how former President’s interacted with sitting President’s, what happened behind the scenes in their relationships, what was going on in the world during those presidencies. To read my review of this book, click here.
10. The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham | Harold Mora & Marshall Shelley
While many people when they think of Billy Graham do not think of a leader or executive, they think of a pastor or evangelist. The reality though is that Graham was an incredible leader. He oversaw countless companies and organizations as he led millions of people to Christ through his crusades and other endeavors. There is so much leadership wisdom in this book.
9. Dangerous Calling | Paul David Tripp
Many pastors are spent. They are tired physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. They have very little left to give. In that moment, they have many doubts. Fears, emotions and temptations pop up that have been quiet for possibly years. Tripp’s latest book is a way to help pastors with that. A way to help them proclaim the gospel to their own hearts, the same gospel they proclaim every week to their church’s. Click here to read my review of this book.
8. The Hole in our Holiness | Kevin DeYoung
Followers of Jesus would agree that holiness is important. We are commanded to be holy all over scripture. Yet, most do not feel very holy. When we sin, we feel guilty. We do things we wish we could stop. We don’t feel very holy. The point of this book is that we have missed the point of holiness, not given it the attention it deserves, missed the place God has in our holiness, as well as our place in our holiness. Click here to read my review of this book.
7. Quiet | Susan Cain
In this book, Susan Cain looks at the different between extroverts and introverts. She looks at research on the brain, how each interact in team settings, how they learn, how they make decisions, how they make speeches, how they recharge. It was a fascinating look at how we are the way we are. To read my review of this book, click here.
6. The Advantage | Patrick Lencioni
In this book, Lencioni tackles the topic of organizational health, which has huge implications for churches as well. He lays out 4 disciplines of healthy organizations: Build a cohesive leadership team, Create clarity, Over-communicate clarity, and Reinforce clarity. This was easily the best leadership book of the year that I read. To read my review, click here.
5. The Power of Full Engagement | Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz
I read this book in the midst of feeling tired and overwhelmed. The authors have worked with countless athletes and executives to help them reach peak performance in their field. There is so much useful information for parents, leaders and pastors in this book to be fully engaged in life and to be at your peak performance.
4. Letters to a Young Pastor | Calvin Miller
Calvin Miller passed away this year. When he was in his 70′s after spending most of his life as a pastor and writes about the things he’s learned, what he’d differently. It reads like sitting with an older mentor at Starbucks. Each chapter averages 4 pages and are written as short emails or letters from Miller to a young pastor. To read my review of this helpful book, click here.
3. The Circle Maker | Mark Batterson
The big idea of this book is drawing circles around prayer. Praying specific prayers. I’ve preached before on this idea and find that praying specific prayers stretches my faith and I see God move in powerful ways because of it. But I like the idea of circling something. For me, I’ve begun circling places I believe God wants us to plant Revolution Churches in Tucson. So this was a great reminder. If you are looking for a book on prayer to read, this is the book. To read my review of this book, click here.
2. Monday’s with my Old Pastor | Jose Luis Navajo
I read this book one day on a personal retreat. It was like a breath of fresh air in the season that I was in. This book follows the journey of a 30-something pastor who is tired, on the edge of burnout and quitting ministry and he spends every monday with his old pastor who is in his 80′s and retired from ministry. The book is simply the conversations they have. It is a fast and encouraging read, being able to peer into the hearts of two men who wrestle through faith, doubt, hurt, leadership and finding their way. If you are tired, burned out as a pastor or thinking about stepping out of ministry, stop and read this book now. To read my review of this book, click here.
1. Deep & Wide | Andy Stanley
Essentially, this book is everything Andy Stanley has learned in ministry since starting out. Things North Point has done that has worked and things that have not worked. To read my review of this book, click here.
What was your favorite book of the year? Put it in the comment section.