Summer is my reset time. The schedule slows down a bit. Trips with the family. More free time to let the mind wander. I love sitting by the ocean or poolside with a book. Most of the year, my reading list orbits around God’s Word and sacred and secular leadership literature. My reading list expands during the summer. I read more for fun. Below are my favorite summer reads.
What is a pastor doing reading such a dark book? Well, the world is dark. That is why Jesus came. O’Reilly and Dugard do a masterful job of telling the story of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts post 9/11. It is a messy story and a messy ideological clash between cultures and religions. I learned so much! I love the poppy and fast-paced nature of this page-turner. Warning!: This book is not for the faint of heart.
Again, what is a pastor doing reading a
book about the violent past of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? I am surrounded by Mormon neighbors and golfing buddies. I lament they don’t know the gift of full grace solely by faith. I also wanted to know more of the Mormon story, and the parts of it that are often swept under the rug. (Christians also prefer to keep parts of our story in the dark. Read about Crusades and some of the tactics behind the global spread of Christianity and Colonialism, etc.) Krakauer displays how polygamy, racism and violence were a part of the Fundamentalist Mormon church. Warning!: This book also is not for the faint of heart.
Okay, my summer reading list was not solely dark, violent reads. Here are my two favorite practical church leadership books this summer.
This book is chock-full of excellent ideas to start and deepen a church’s social media strategy and presence. Our communications team was probably annoyed with all of my emails about our “next steps” for engagement. Lazarus teaches the S.P.I.R.I.T. framework for structuring, packaging, integrating, releasing, igniting, and tracking your social media engagement. Pastors, do not read this book and think you can execute the framework. Build a
Galik's book is all about relational systems. When you are transformed by the
Holy Spirit, others can be transformed. Growth of the leader—growth of the team. Galik builds on the work of authors such as Peter Steinke. Steinke said, “Leadership, often thought to be about action, is more about interaction…” Life and leadership are paradoxical. Selfishness leads to death. Selflessness leads to life. The world does not understand the paradoxical nature of God and His people in the world. Embrace paradox.
These are just a few of my favorite summer reads. There is little that better assists a summer reset than a good book. Leaders are learners.
I would love for you to share your summer reads with us at the ULC! uniteleadership.org