5 Leadership Development Books for Clergy

Jan 13, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Augsburg Fortress

Ministry and leadership are practices, and as such they require practice. Pastors and other church leaders can benefit from the experience of those who have gone before them. Whether the questions and struggles in your context relate to allocating responsibility, navigating conflict, discerning call, or something else, these five books are full of helpful and relevant wisdom you can apply to your ministry.

Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life

Eileen R. Campbell-Reed (Author), Christian Scharen (Foreword by)

Cover of Pastoral ImaginationEach of the fifty chapters explores a single concept through story, reflection, and provocative open-ended questions designed to spark conversation between ministers and mentors, among ministry peers, or for personal journal reflections. The book provides a framework for understanding ministry as an embodied, relational, integrative, and spiritual practice. The book can be used by individuals for personal growth; with groups in new-pastor retreats, CPE training programs, ministry peer groups, or supervision settings such as internship or field education; for devotional inspiration at staff meetings; and in seminary classrooms that prioritize teaching ministry as a practice.

Finding Our Way to the Truth: Seven Lies Leaders Believe and How to Let Go of Them

Sarah Ciavarri (Author), N. Graham Standish (Foreword by)

FP Finding Our Way to the TruthIn Finding Our Way to the Truth, Sarah Ciavarri explores lies that masquerade as truths. They aren't obvious. They can be benign. Through personal stories, Ciavarri helps leaders recognize seven common lies, such as "People must like me" and "I'm responsible for it all." She then outlines a three-step process for unmasking each lie—pay attention, examine, and apply the learning. When we let go of the lies, well-being and hope take their place.

Clear, Calm, and Connected: Reflections on Church Leadership

Paul E. Walters (Author), Robert F. Holley (Author)

Cover of Clear Calm And ConnectedClear, Calm, and Connected offers wisdom on leadership drawn from common ministry scenarios, family systems thinking, and Scripture. Paul E. Walters and Robert F. Holley provide insights and tools to help ministry leaders serve congregations more effectively and conduct their personal life with more grace. The book is an excellent leadership training tool for boards, committees, or teams and for leaders working to discern mission, define roles, and respond to conflict.

Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations

Chad R. Abbott (Author), Teresa Blythe (Author), Brent Bill (Foreword by)

Cover of Incline Your EarIncline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations introduces faith communities and individuals to the centuries-old practice of spiritual direction. Authors Chad R. Abbott and Teresa Blythe explore ways to become more aware of the presence of the Holy, deepen our relationship with God, discern where God is leading, share our spiritual gifts, and evaluate these fruits of the Spirit. Readers will find new ways to be in love with God and listen to the Spirit.

God’s People Made New: How Exploring the Bible Together Launched a Church’s Spirit-Filled Future

Rachael J. Powell

Cover of Gods People Made NewThrough the voices of congregants living in crisis and hope, creative investigation of biblical texts, and solid, accessible theological reflection, Rachael J. Powell offers hope for congregations. Readers will appreciate Powell's wise pastoral companionship through the often exasperating yet life-giving process of helping a congregation discern who and what they are called to be.

Powell also suggests concrete tools for engaging the biblical text so congregations, in their own contexts, can listen for God's voice to empower them in their God-given identity. Finally, she calls on preachers to claim their role in this powerful work.

God's People Made New demonstrates how through active engagement with God's Word, we are shaped, equipped, and empowered to be forces for God's good news. While uncertainty and fear abound in congregational life, this book will inspire congregations to enter into the power of Scripture through word and deed.

Topics: Books, Fortress Press, leadership, pastor

Augsburg Fortress

Written by Augsburg Fortress

Augsburg Fortress develops engaging resources for Lutheran congregations In our ministry as the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we create substantive and innovative materials to support the ministries of faith communities in communicating the good news of God's liberating grace. To meet the evolving needs of Lutheran communities, we continually invest in the development of new ministry resources, seeking ongoing input from theologians, educators, church leaders, and church members.

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