Here are some books that share important concepts and have made a significant difference in my life. When I have the opportunity I encourage new missionaries and people looking to be involved in ministry to make these "must reads".
Change is a constant in life and ministry in paritcular. Mental and emotional peace along with success is very much dependant on your ability to manage and embrace change.
This is the best book I have found on the subject. It also comes in a teen and childrens version. Equipping your children to deal with change is one of the most powerful skills you can give them.
Some key concepts in the book:
“If You Do Not Change, You Become Extinct.” (46)
“What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?” (48)
“Movement in a New Direction Helps You Find New Cheese.” (54)
“Old Beliefs Do Not Lead You To New Cheese” (64)
Change Happens (They keep moving the cheese)
Anticipate Change (Get ready for the cheese to move)
Monitor Change (Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old)
Adapt to Change Quickly (The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese)
Change (Move with the cheese)
Enjoy Change! (Savor the Adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese)
Be Ready to Change Quickly and Enjoy it Again and Again (They keep moving the cheese) (74)
Here a couple book reviews you can check out:
I have read this book several times and refer to it often when analyzing the development of my life or coaching others in their leadership development. Dr. J. Robert Clinton discovered a generalized time-line consisting of six phases that represent the general flow of a leader's life.
1. Sovereign Foundations
2. Inner-life Growth
3. Ministry Maturity
4. Life Maturing
Identifying phases gives a leader the capacity to track progress in their development, and clarify insights and lessons. Understanding the leadership development continuum gives a sense of confidence and security as you identify where you are and anticipate what is ahead.
Whether you like it or not ministry has more than its share of confrontations. Learning how to manage conflict is incredibly important. In addition to scripture this book has helped me more than any other.
The chapters in this book are organized around Scott’s Seven Principles of Fierce Conversations:
Master the courage to interrogate reality.
Come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real.
Be here, prepared to be nowhere else.
Tackle your toughest challenge today.
Obey your instincts.
Take responsibility for your emotional wake.
Let silence do the heavy lifting.
Here is a book review that may be helpful: http://www.adventureassoc.com/resources/newsletter/nlbr-fierce-conversations.html
Once you have a dream, vision, concern, idea...what do you do with it? Andy Stanley addresses that in his book Visioneering.
The book outlines the 20 building blocks for a vision and engineering it’s reality (hence the title visioneering).
1. A vision begins as a concern.
2. A vision does not necessarily require immediate action.
3. Pray for opportunities and plan as if you expect God to answer your prayers.
4. God is using your circumstances to position and prepare you to accomplish his vision for your life.
5. What God originates, he orchestrates.
6. Walk before you talk; investigate before you initiate.
7. Communicate your vision as a solution to a problem that must be addressed immediately.
8. Cast your vision as a solution to a problem that must be addressed immediately.
9. Don’t expect others to take greater risks or make greater sacrifices than you have.
10. Don’t confuse your plans with God’s vision.
11. Visions are refined-they don’t change; plans are revised-they rarely stay the same.
12. Respond to criticism with prayer, rememberance, and if necessary, a revision of the plan.
13. Visions thrive in an environment of unity; they die in an environment of division.
14. Abandon the vision before you abandon your moral authority.
15. Don’t get distracted.
16. There is divine potential in all you envision to do.
17. The end of a God-ordained vision is God.
18. Maintaining a vision requires adherence to a set of core beliefs and behaviors.
19. Visions require constant attention.
20. Maintaining a vision requires bold leadership.