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For Your Christmas List

Laura and I don’t watch a lot of network TV, so when we watch we don’t see commercials. However I do catch my share during football games, and it appears that people give each other cars and trucks at this festive season. My guess is that your budget won’t allow the exchange of new BMWs, so let me give you a list of books that you might want to include on your Christmas list.

I’m going to give you the Amazon links, but don’t forget to check out the good folks at You may find their prices lower. I’ll also acknowledge that I haven’t read some of these, but have recommended them based on the author, reviews, or what I’d have on my list.

The best book on helping people that I can remember reading is Ed Welch’s Side By Side: Walking With Others in Wisdom and Love. This is a must read for pastors and would be worth working through with your elders or staff.

Fifteen Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me is a compilation of advice put out by The Gospel Coalition. By about two months into your pastorate you’ve probably said, “They didn’t teach me about this” a few times.

Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Ministers. You actually might want to pick this up now for $3 in Kindle format. Hopefully you give great attention to your preaching. This encourages and helps you give great attention to pubic prayer. Hughes Oliphant Old wrote this one.

The late John Stott wrote several books on preaching. The Challenge of Preaching is an abridgment of an earlier work. That earlier work is the classic Between Two Worlds. In a past blog post I recommended reading at least one book each year on preaching. Either one of these would be worthwhile.

I love listening to Dr. Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He’s a great preacher, and wrote a helpful book on preaching called He Is Not Silent: Preaching in A Post-Modern World.

One other book on preaching that I enjoyed was The Archer and the Arrow. Geared more for beginning preachers, it’s worth reading no matter how long you’ve preached. Philip Jensen is the author, and he challenges us with these words: “My aim is to preach the gospel by prayerfully expounding the Bible to the people God has given me to love.”

While dealing with preaching to some extent, Jonathan Leeman’s book Word Centered Church is a challenge to build all of what we do in our churches around the Bible. I remember this being a very encouraging book, especially if you are looking at gimmicky churches growing while you seem to plod along.

Leadership is a challenging task, and Australian author Craig Hamilton has written a well-regarded book called Wisdom in Leadership. I love the subtitle: “The How and Why of Leading the People You Serve.”

Reformation Theology is both a book on theology and a book on church history. I’ve been reading through it and it is quite engaging. Matthew Barrett edits this compilation. Dr. Philip Ryken says, “Dr. Matthew Barrett has assembled a first-rate team of pastors and scholars to write an anniversary volume of the Reformation that promises to receive a welcoming readership across a wide spectrum of the evangelical community. At a time when some are suggesting that for all practical purposes the Reformation is ‘over,’ Barrett’s Reformation Theology offers a needed corrective by showing the relevance of the Reformation for healthy church ministry and the Christian life today.”

Also on the subject of church history is Michael Haykin’s Rediscovering the Church Fathers. It’s on my list of soon-to-read books.

I bought this book, All Things New: Revelation as Canonical Captone by Brian Tabb yesterday and look forward to reading it. While I hold to a specific eschatological position, I hold it a bit more loosely than I used to. One of the reasons for that was my own experience of preaching through Revelation several years ago. Looks good!

Finally, while not a book, you can get a year’s subscription to Christianity Today for $15 that also gives you access to all of the articles from CT and Leadership Journal from the last several decades. Don’t hesitate, though, because this price won’t last for long.

Have a great weekend of ministry! See you on Monday


Author: Peter Bogert

Married to Laura, with three adult children, 7 grandchildren. I’m an avid baseball fan, and I enjoy listening to audiobooks about military history, and reading Theology. I was ordained a Baptist pastor and served two churches over a 41 year period. After a three year hiatus I'm glad to be serving at Calvary Bible Fellowship Church in Coopersburg, PA. And I’m glad you stopped by!

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