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5 Books for Church Leaders in 2020

by Josh Breland


The cliche is true: leaders are readers. As the new year approaches, what will you read in 2020? Here are 5 books for church leaders to consider for 2020.

1. Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer – J. Oswald Sanders

Church Leadership: Spiritual LeadershipIf you have already read the book, this is a classic worth revisiting. With over 1 Million copies sold, J. Oswald Sanders’ Spiritual Leadership lays out a biblical account of godly leadership and calls the reader to the honorable ambition of servant leadership. Both challenging and encouraging, this book is worth reading every other year or so.

“True greatness, true leadership, is found in giving yourself in service to others, not in coaxing or inducing others to serve you.” – Sanders

Purchase Spiritual Leadership

2. 9 Things a Leader Must Do: How to Go to the Next Level-And Take Others With You – Henry Cloud

church-leadership-henry-cloudHenry Cloud’s 9 Things a Leader Must Do will not only help you lead better in the church, but also in business, and at home with your family. Quick, easy to read, and practical, Henry Cloud has such a helpful way of clarifying topics while also causing you to think deeper. This easy to read book will help you take back your mindset in 2020 so you can better serve those around you.

Purchase 9 Things a Leader Must Do

3. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs – John Doerr

There are few topics as controversial as church and numbers. I get it. But here’s the deal, God is at work in the numbers. He is at work in the macro and micro, in the planning and the doing, and in the measuring of church metrics. Faithfully stewarding your ministry will require at least some measuring from time to time. John Doerr’s Measure What Matters gives a manifesto and framework for measuring what matters by using what he calls OKRs (objectives & key results). Though OKRs were birthed in the wild wild west of Silicon Valley, I think the church will be blessed by Doerr’s work. No matter your ministry size, Measure What Matters will help you think more about how to get things done and accomplish all God has called you to do.

Purchase Measure What Matters

4. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever – Michael Stanier

What if you were leading with one hand tied behind your back and didn’t even know it? That is what trying to lead without having an effective framework for coaching is like. I believe most leadership deficits are related to an inability to coach direct reports. Michael Stanier’s The Coaching Habit will help you coach your team better in 2020.

Purchase The Coaching Habit

5. Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John C. Maxwell

church-leadership-leadershift-maxwelMany of us need to make some big changes to our leadership in 2020. John Maxwell’s Leadershift will help you think through what shifts you need to make to lead at the next level. As always, Maxwell’s style is easy to read and thought provoking. Also check out the Leadershift Podcast.

Purchase Leadershift

These are just a few recommended books for church leaders. I hope you find them helpful.

Josh Breland

Josh Breland helps church leaders win with data and church analytics at Churchlytics. He previously led the communications team as Director of Communication & Strategic Initiatives at College Park Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is married with three daughters. Connect with Josh on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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