Top Books Read in 2017

November 24, 2017

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Below is a list of the top books I have read in 2017. I’d recommend these as gift ideas or for your own personal growth.

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church

This is the best leadership book I have read in some time. Fuller Seminary studies growing churches and how to keep young people in church. Their insights are very timely for the missions organization I previously served with and the church I now work with.


When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself

If you are a leader who takes missions teams or sends them from your church, this is a must read. This book gave me words to articulate my strategy as a missions pastor following 25 years of missionary service.


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

The story of an American iconic company, Nike, and its founder Phil Knight. A good read.


The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus’ Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It

These authors sought out heroes of the faith such as J.I. Packer, Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, and more to speak about leadership. The wisdom of their centuries combined in leadership abounds. They specifically tackle the allure of power in ministry, challenging us to rather take the way of the lamb than the dragon.


Me, Myself, and Bob: A True Story About Dreams, God, and Talking Vegetables

An honest and page turning look at the story of the rise and fall of Veggie Tales told by their Creator, Phil Vischer.


Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc.

Skye Jethani books are a must read. This devotional style book looks at a number of traits common in American church culture and challenges readers to evaluate them.


I want to take a break from the book recommendations, to mention a podcast. The preceding two authors, Phil Vischer and Skye Jethani, host a candid and challenging podcast. All the headlines and current events are looked at through a Biblical lens. This coupled with great guests and a whole lot of humorous banter makes for my favorite podcast. Check out the Phil Vischer Podcast.

Back to the books!


Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah, South African comedian and current host of the Daily Show, gives a lot of great insight into the political and cultural issues of South Africa.


The God Ask: A Fresh, Biblical Approach to Personal Support Raising

The best book I have read on fundraising for missionaries. A bit long, but I am passing it out to all my new missionaries.


Saving the Saved: How Jesus Saves Us from Try-Harder Christianity into Performance-Free Love

Saving the Saved: How Jesus Saves Us from Try-Harder Christianity into Performance-Free Love

A great grace book by Bryan Loritts.


New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional

If you are looking for a daily devotional for 2018, look no further. Paul David Tripp is an excellent source for grace based challenges.


Click on any of these links to go to Amazon and buy a copy for yourself or someone on your gift list.

What is your favorite book you have read in 2017?

 Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God