One of the most effective ways to develop your staff is to read great books together and discuss them.

Books are an amazingly affordable way to get better. For about $20, you can get access to someone’s life work. Their lessons, their research, and their experiences can be yours in just a few pages.

Here are seven books we highly recommend for this purpose.

  1. How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins. Most of the leaders in your church are not the Senior Pastor. That’s why this book is a great one to read with your teams and a great one to give to some of your key volunteer leaders. You don’t have to be the boss to be the leader.
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport. The ability to lock in and get stuff done is a waning skill in our social-media fueled instant culture. This book lays out a strong case for deep work and gives some tools and strategies to get important things done.
  3. The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, by Jenni Catron. Jenni is one of the coaches for Train Your Team and she’s a great leadership coach. Her book on leadership will help you develop the heart, soul, mind and strength of leadership. It’s a good one to read and discuss one section at a time.
  4. Church Unique by Will Mancini. The first half of this book should be required reading for everyone in church leadership and you won’t go wrong reading and discussing the concept. You’ll have takeaways and action steps, not just notes.
  5. Knowing God by J.I. Packer. It’s surprisingly easy for church meetings to be all about the business of church and lose the heart behind it all. This book helps build on a strong spiritual foundation and will tee up some spiritual conversations.
  6. Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell. Lee is a former Vice President at Disney and his book is like pulling back the curtain on what makes great experiences. There are applications for every ministry in your church.
  7. The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni. It’s not skill or talent that makes a team great…it’s organizational health. Lencioni talks about what that really means and how to create it. He’s written some great ones but this one is the best.

I also asked Church Fuel Members to share their favorite books. Here were some of their recommendations:

What are you reading with your teams?

So what’s next?

One thing we’ve noticed about leaders in the church is they typically crave training. Leaders love opportunities to get better and develop their skills. Leadership starts with you. In order to lead others well, you must first lead yourself. That’s why we’ve created a resource called the One-Page Personal Growth Plan and it’s yours for free. This simple PDF will help you create a plan for investing in and leading yourself well over the next 12 months.

YES! Send me the personal growth plan!


Before you can lead others, you must first lead yourself. This free resource can help.

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