What are the top 10 books that have changed your life and ministry? Last fall Chuck Warnock in his blog, Confessions of a Small Church Pastor, asked this question, and included his list. It caused me to develop my own list, which I came across this week. Only half of them are what you might broadly call “Christian books.”

1. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue, by Edwin Friedman. This was an epochal book for me and I went to study with Friedman as a result. The book and the person changed my ministry and my personal life.

2. The Other Side of Silence, by Morton Kelsey. This book, recommended by my brother, started me thinking about the contemplative tradition of prayer, very different from my evangelical roots.

3. Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones. A critical book in my journey as a writer.

4. Tony Buzan, The Mind Map Book. This book got me away from manuscript preaching and into a new way of being present in the pulpit and other settings where I speak.

5. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Another big creativity-boosting and life-impacting book.

6. First and Second Samuel, by Walter Brueggemann (Interpretation series). Simply fantastic Bible commentary, the kind that really helps in the pulpit.

7. Woven Together in Prayer, by Angela Ashwin. A daily prayer guide which I used for about eight years.

8. Seeking God, by Esther de Waal. Introduced me to the Benedictine tradition, and her other writing introduced me to Celtic Christianity.

9. Getting Things Done, by David Allen. This book led me to a clean desk (a miracle…).

10. The Bible — OK, I know, too obvious. But it never fails to amaze me how many times I can go back to a text and see something new for preaching or personal growth.

What books are on your list?

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