The Best Books I Read in 2013

book

It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Monday, I shared the top sermon downloads from Revolution Church. Tuesday I shared the books that almost made my “best of the year” list. And yesterday I shared the albums that almost made my “best of the year” list.

To see my list of favorite books from past year, simply click on the numbers: 200920102011 and 2012.

To make this list, it does not have to be published in 2013, I only needed to read it in 2013. As always, this list was hard to narrow down, but here are the top 13 books of 2013. Buckle up book worms:

13. How to Deliver a TED Talk | Jeremy Donavan

If you speak for a living or are a pastor, this is a must read book. Donavan takes the best and worst of TED Talks and breaks them down into do’s and don’ts for speakers. You can read my review here.

12. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail | Larry Osborne

I love Larry Osborne’s stuff. It is so simple and straightforward. In this book, he looks at why some churches and organizations works and others don’t. His chapter on mission statements is worth the price of this book. You can read my review here.

11. Eat Move Sleep: Why Small Choices Make a Big Difference | Tom Rath

Health books are everywhere. Good health books are hard to find. This is one of the great ones. Two things stood out in this book: One, every choice we make matters. They all impact every part of our life. Two, Tom Rath looks at how to eat, move and sleep so that those choices make the most positive impact in our lives. You can read my review here.

10. Sex & Money: Pleasures that Leave You Empty and Grace that Satisfies | Paul David Tripp

There are some authors you should read everything they write. Tim Keller is one of them and Paul David Tripp is another one. No matter the book, you should read their stuff. Tripp takes the two biggest temptations and sins in our culture and shows how they leave us empty. Definitely a convicting book. You can read my review here.

9. Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge | Henry Cloud

The primary message of this book for leaders is you get what you create and what you allow. You can read my review here.

8. Chasing Francis | Ian Cron 

I read this book one Saturday night, one of those hard, dark Saturday nights many pastors have. I could not put this book down as it resonated with me on so many deep levels. So, when you have that dark night, this is a book to read. Here’s my review of it.

7. The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the work of Christ in Your Life & Ministry | Jared Wilson

This book is very similar to Paul David Tripp’s book Dangerous CallingA challenge to pastors to apply the gospel they preach to their own lives and hearts. A great book for doing the deep dive for a pastor and confronting their idols. It also helps that Wilson is hilarious in this book. You can read my review here.

6. Discipleshift: Five Steps that Help Your Church to Make Disciples who Make Disciples | Jim Putnam, Bobby Harrington, & Robert Coleman

The effects of this book will be felt at Revolution for years to come. As we’ve moved more and more towards a missional community model, this book has helped us hone our system of making disciples. This graph has been huge for us. You can read my review here.

5. Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus | Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson 

If you are a parent or will be a parent, this is the one parenting book you have to read. It shows you how to parent to your child’s heart, which is the only way to change a child and see them become who God created them to become. You can read my review here.

4. Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence | Crawford Loritts

What set this book apart was that it had very little “here’s what a leader does” advice. This book is all about what influences and shapes a leader. Ultimately, what shapes a leader will eventually come out in their actions. You can read my review here.

3. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World | Paul Miller

This is the book on prayer.  So good. I love the idea of prayer cards and have since created them on Evernote to use. You can read my review here.

2. In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity | Jim Belcher

This book almost made the jump to #1, it was close. This book is part parenting book, part history, part travel, and faith. It shows the roots of Christianity and how to bring those into your family. One thing Katie and I want is for our kids to know the history of Christianity and that it is not a faith that just appeared in the last 100 years. You can read my review here.

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action | Simon Sinek

I love leadership books, so it makes sense that one of them is #1. A leadership book was #1 last year too. This book was insanely good. If you are a leader, this is the one book you have to read in 2014. So good. You can read my review here.

Tomorrow you’ll get my last list of the week: the top 13 albums of the year.

6 Questions Parents can Ask to Be Discerning about Media for their Kids

bookI get asked by parents a lot how to make media choices with and for their kids. What shows should they watch, what music should they listen to. Here are some helpful questions for parents to ask taken from Give them Grace

  1. Does this media outlet have any redeeming value to it? In other words, is there any way that we can use it to illustrate the one good story? Are the great themes of the gospel apparent (even though it may not be a “Christian” production)?
  2. Are our children unduly influenced by this movie or program? Do they mimic inappropriate words or phrases after spending time interacting with it?
  3. Are our children able to articulate what is lacking in this video or song? Do they see how it is contrary to the gospel? Are they able to tell you where they see the one good story in it?
  4. What is your child’s attitude when he’s denied access to this program? Has it become an idol in his heart, a god that promises him happiness?
  5. Is there any way that you can demonstrate a willingness to compromise with your child over this song? For instance, instead of saying no to an entire album, perhaps you could find a couple of songs on it that would be acceptable.
  6. Are you being ruled by fear of what might happen if your child watches or listens to this program or album? Or, are you able to think clearly about the influence the entertainment may or may not have over your child?

[Image Credit]

Links for Your Weekend Reading

  1. CNN on The demise of guys: How video games & porn are ruining a generation. Also, check out the author giving a talk at TED on the topic here. This reality is one of the reasons Revolution Church exists. 
  2. Here is a new song Paul is teaching this weekend at Revolution Church
  3. Evangelize, don’t indoctrinate your kids. Great word for parents. 
  4. Al Mohler on The Bible condemns a lot, but here’s why we focus on homosexuality
  5. 7 tips on communicating well
  6. Jared Wilson on What Jesus does with sin

Links of the Week

  1. C.J. Mahaney on Video games, idols and your child’s hearts.
  2. Scott Thomas on Every pastor needs a pastor.
  3. Paul Steinbrueck on 7 leadership lessons we can learn from how Cavs owner Dan Gilbert handled LeBron James leaving Cleveland. Great insights into leadership and how to not respond.