I thought I’d share some quick suggestions for reading that I’d recommend to anyone just going into church leadership. So if you are new to church leadership I’d encourage you to pick these up. If you are not, then you might want to see if your pastor/elders have them and if not perhaps consider getting them one of these as a present.
Either A Dangerous Calling or Lead by Paul David Tripp. Both of these books get us thinking about what the calling to leadership is really about. They draw us away from the temptation to see our role as a profession and the people in our care as projects. The second option is one that could (maybe should) be read together as a leadership team.
The Gospel. A short book by Ray Ortlund which gets us to think about how the Gospel should shape not just our doctrine but our culture.
The Trellis and the Vine (Tony Payne and Colin Marshall). This book is rapidly becoming a classic. It helps you to think about both the where and the who when it comes to prioritising your time. It will help you not to get bogged down in questions about structure and programmes. It will get you on the front foot instead of fire fighting.
The Reformed Pastor (Richard Baxter). This is a classic. Baxter modelled pastoral ministry by visiting and discipling each home in his parish as a pastor in Kidderminster.
The Pastor with a thorn in his side (Ed Steve Kneale). Your leaders need to know that they are not invincible and that ministry won’t be trouble free. Here are seven stories from pastors about their struggle with one specific “thorn in the flesh” -depression (including a chapter from your’s truly). You may not encounter depression specifically but you are going to experience thorns. These stories will prepare you for and encourage you when you do.
US based readers may be interested to know that the book is now available State side from Heritage books
Charles Simeon, an ordinary pastor of extraordinary influence (Derek Prime). My final choice is a book from Day One that tells the story of a pastor who had an incredible influence in Cambridge. Charles Simeon modelled faithful preaching and pastoring in the face of opposition from within his own church. This opposition went on for years and he even found himself locked out of the building but he stuck in there and kept, praying, preaching and pastoring. I hope that pastors reading won’t face that kind of opposition and members reading won’t cause it but this book will be an encouragement for when those challenging days come.