Pastor’s current reads:

“Play the Man: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be” by Mark Batterson

Synopsis: Somewhere along the way, our culture lost its definition of manhood, leaving generations of men and men-to-be confused about their roles, responsibilities, relationships, and the reason God made them men. In this inspiring call to something greater, Batterson helps men understand what it means to be a man of God by unveiling seven virtues of manhood. He shares inspiring stories of manhood, including the true story of the hero and martyr Polycarp, who first heard the voice from heaven say, “Play the man.” These stories are coupled with practical ideas about how to disciple the next generation of men. This is more than a book; it’s a movement of men who will settle for nothing less than fulfilling their highest calling to be the man and the father God has destined them to be. Play the man. Make the man.

“Designed To Lead: The Church and Leadership Development” by Eric Geiger/Kevin Peck

Synopsis: Most churches merely exist. Many churches do not develop leaders intentionally and consistently. When leaders emerge from some churches, it is often by accident. Something is missing. Something is off.

Authors Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck​ argue that churches that consistently produce leaders have a strong conviction to develop leaders, a healthy culture for leadership development, and helpful constructs to systematically and intentionally build leaders. All three are essential for leaders to be formed through the ministry of a local church.

From the first recordings of history God has made it clear that He has designed creation to be led by His covenant people. More than that, He has decided what His people are to do with that leadership. Whether you are called to lead your home, in the marketplace, in God’s church, or in your community, if you are called by God you are called to lead others to worship the glory of God in Jesus Christ.

God has designed His people to lead.

Secular/History:

“Forged In Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership In Turbulent Times” by Nancy Koehn

Synopsis: A historical narrative filled with critical leadership insights including those in government, business, education, and the arts. Koehn spotlights five masters of crisis: polar explorer Ernest Shackleton; President Abraham Lincoln; legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Nazi-resisting clergyman Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and environmental crusader Rachel Carson.
​Each of the book’s five sections​ begins ​by showing ​the protagonist on the precipice of a great crisis: Shackleton marooned on an Antarctic ice floe; Lincoln on the verge of seeing the Union collapse; escaped slave Douglass facing possible capture; Bonhoeffer agonizing over how to counter absolute evil with faith; Carson racing against the cancer ravaging her in a bid to save the planet. The narrative then reaches back to each person’s childhood and shows the individual growing—step by step—into the person he or she will ultimately become. Significantly, as we follow each leader’s against-all-odds journey, we begin to glean an essential truth: leaders are not born but made. In a book dense with epiphanies, the most galvanizing one may be that the power to lead courageously resides in each of us.

“The Boys In the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown

Synopsis: This remarkable book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Spiritual Growth:

“Wisdom: Life’s Great Treasure” by Richard E. Simmons III

Synopsis: The concept of is intriguing. Most believers know the words of King Solomon about wisdom, “She is more precious than jewels and nothing you desire compares with her.” (Proverbs 3:15) Nothing in this life quite compares with wisdom. It enables us to distinguish between ideas that are true and those that are false. This book is a collection of short essays on wisdom. In his book, Simmons takes twelve of the most strategic areas of life, and provides four or five short essays on each. The book closes with a chapter on five of the most important principles that govern life. This book is poised to serve as a guide to help each person walk in wisdom on their journey towards a healthy and meaningful life.

“Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity” by Nabeel Qureshi

Synopsis: An Unexpected Journey from Islam to Christianity. In this book, Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way. Providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi’s inner turmoil will challenge Christians and Muslims alike.

Engaging and thought-provoking, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus tells a powerful story of the clash between Islam and Christianity in one man’s heart-and the peace he eventually found in Jesus.

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