2017 Book Recommendations (for Preachers)

If you are a preacher, I hope you are a reader. If you don’t like to read, pray for a desire. The Lord will grant it. I am always looking for books to challenge/enhance my preaching. This year, I came across several that helped my thinking and challenged the way I process, prepare, and deliver sermons.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God by Eugene Peterson

This book of sermons is Peterson at his finest. You will find yourself, not only enriched in your soul, but challenged to think through how you preach on a week by week basis to your people.

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte

Duarte is a master at helping any speaker engage their audience. This book will seriously challenge you as you seek to connect to a 2018 congregation.

Gospel Fluency: Speaking the Truths of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life by Jeff Vanderstelt

This work isn’t a book about preaching, but a fantastic book about communicating Gospel truths. Not only will this help you in everyday conversations, but will help you understand the Gospel better AND communicate the Gospel clearer in your messages.

Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church by Winn Collier

I was introduced to Winn Collier by accident (through searching on Amazon). I could not put this book down. For the preacher who desires to evaluate and improve in his pastoral preaching, this is a fantastic resource.

Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds┬áby Carmine Gallo

The Storyteller’s Secret: Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson

I thoroughly enjoy listening to TED Talks and reading about improving skills to connect with audiences. To be sure, comparing preaching to TED Talks is comparing apples to oranges. However, there is a wealth of wisdom for any public speaker in these resources.

Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger, and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him by Stephen Mansfield

This year, I have become a big Stephen Mansfield fan. The subtitle is what compelled me to read this book. I believe many people in our Southern pews can be better understood by reading this book.

Jesus is the Question: The 307 Questions Jesus Asked and the 3 He Answered by Martin B. Copenhaver

The title alone taught me something I didn’t know about our Savior. Copenhaver’s short book will help you understand Jesus better AND will help your preaching as you seek to present material and inspire conversations the way He did. Preacher, it is OKAY if we leave our audiences without all the answers.

The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get their Act Together by Jared Wilson

As the title suggests, this is a book on Discipleship. For the preacher, however, there are several good quotes AND illustrations to use for his preaching ministry.

What are some books YOU read this year that have influenced and challenged your preaching ministry?