Leaders are Readers: Our Favorite Books of 2017

December 19, 2017

You’ve heard it before: Leaders are readers. (Thank you, President Truman!) Whether you are leading in your family, your church, or your workplace, filling your mind with good ideas and stories will enhance your life and your leadership skills. This year we’ve shared experiences with Steven Curtis Chapman, missionaries, and pastors. We’ve thought through current culture issues with some of the best Christian leaders of our time. And we’ve enjoyed taking a step back from our regular lives to read stories that give a chance to rest and be renewed. All because we read some great books this year!

Today we’re sharing some of our favorite books of the year. We hope you take the time to read and learn from some of these books.

We all agree, our favorite book of the year was Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman. We’ve all been fans of his music for many years. We appreciated his honesty about his marriage and his struggles through losing a child. We experienced new layers of meaning to many of his songs after learning about the circumstances in his life when he was writing the music.

Mark and Shawn recommend The Insanity of God by Nik Ripkin. It’s the stories of a missionary family that served in Somalia and other places where the church is persecuted. It’s a powerful look at some of the toughest places on earth and how the gospel is working in the lives of people there.

Shawn recommends This is Our Time, a book about how we can be faithful Christians in our time in history. The first chapter alone (about smartphones) is worth the cost of the book. This is a great gift book for young people!

For those that might be tired of hearing about all of these cultural issues in the church, Micah recommends Restoring All Things. It’s not just talking about people helping with issues in theory (abortion, racial reconciliation, trafficking, etc.) because they include stories of people doing meaningful work to make a difference in all of these areas.

We think it’s important to include some fiction reading in our book lists each year. Mark recommends Daniel Silva novels and Shawn enjoys reading Charles Dickens books. Some other books we highlight are Essentialism, The Vanishing American Adult, Martin Luther, and Gods at War.

Tell us about your favorite books of the year! We’d love to hear about them!

And just a reminder…we’ll be taking a couple of weeks off from recording new podcast episodes for a couple weeks to enjoy Christmas festivities with our families. We’ll be back with new episodes in January!


Leaders are Readers: Our Favorite Books of 2017 | Episode 67 | CongreGate Podcast

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Links and Recommendations:

Ugly Christmas Sweaters (like Shawn’s…they make them for every NCAA team!)

Matthew Begat’s Song by Andrew Petersen

The Pout Pout Fish

Between Heaven and the Real World: My Story – by Steven Curtis Chapman

Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected – by Nik Ripkin

This is Our Time: Everday Myths in Light of the Gospel – by Trevin Wax

Restoring All Things – by Jon Stonestreet & Warren Cole Smith

House of Spies – by Daniel Silva

Essentialism – by Greg McKeown

The Vanishing American Adult – by Ben Sasse

Martin Luther – by Eric Metaxas

Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart – by Kyle Idleman

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