Current favorite reads
Since you were all so kind to share your favorite reads on various subjects, I want to return the favor. This is a quarterly list of my most influential reads:
Cross-Cultural Servanthood was one fo the first books to ruin my ethnocentric approach to mission and evangelism. When I first read it, I was somewhat turned off because of its plain appeal to international missions, but as I quickly found out, Elmer was writing principles useable across all cultures, including the different ones that live within my neighborhood block. This book taught me how to relate to people for the sake of the gospel. I highly recommend it to anyone that needs to learn how to communicate to people separated by cultural boundaries.
Hans Finzel writes an excellent book on the pitfalls of leadership, mostly dealing with the things that kill leadership in the middle of its success. I devoured this book, and continue to put its short chapters into practice.
There are plenty of worship treatments out there, and this one is of the scholarly tone. It is basically a scan of the entire Bible’s perception on worship, not just single scattered proof-texts. If you’re digging into what biblical corporate worship is, but want something more in-depth than the typical, palm-sized devotional, this book will grill you. Peterson is masterful with his research (some chapters have 6 pages of footnotes). This is theology, baby!
Kauflin is a worship leader who’s understanding of worship I admire. Unlike the book mentioned before, this is largely a practical book on worship, especially for worship leaders, but including musicians of varying degree. Kauflin IS theological, but he spends a significant amount of energy in the book looking at how the theology affects our leading in an actual situation. Though I cannot agree with all of his conclusions, this was such a refreshing read, and is the best “worship ministry” book I’ve ever read.
Empowered Evangelicals is a treatment on the various sides commonly associated with charismatic and evangelical. The author (a charismatic), makes the case for church unity, which is one of my favorite things in the world, besides Jesus, Brianna, and cookie dough.
Hirsch is that guy that shakes the boat a bit. But he has some incredible insight as a missiologist and thinker, and provokes a lot of introspection of the methods of church community and mission.