Books & Movies

Looking For Recommendations? 5 Good Books to Read in 2022


If knowledge puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1), why read books? Reading is not as important as applying what you read. Practicing what you know has a far greater value than gaining more and more knowledge. Having said this, good leaders continually learn and grow. Books help us do that. Visionary leaders read. No doubt about it.

Invest money and time in reading. Read widely. Read authors who share your perspective and passions, and those who don’t. Try reading different types or genres of books. As in relationships with people, it is good to listen to new voices and be updated in current viewpoints.

Reading and listening to audiobooks has been my habit for a long time. Some years, I read more than others, but I’m always reading or listening to new books.

Here are some recommended books for the new year and a short summary of my take-aways from them. If you purchase these via the button below, I get a tiny commission from Amazon that will help this platform continue to grow.

1. Emotionally Healthy Discipleship by Peter Scazzero

Chapter one of this book highlights four failures in disciple-making. read more

Experiencing God As He Prepares For A DMM Around You

experiencing God

At first, the Bible study looked overly simple. I thought I already knew the Biblical truths presented. Perhaps I did know most of it. God wanted me to experience those spiritual realities, even though I did not make it a priority at the time. The name of the life-changing study was Experiencing God.

A Bit of Background

Rewind a few years earlier.

I did not grow up in a family of Christ-followers. A classmate in high school first shared the good news of God’s kingdom with me back in 1984. My friend, Tyler, looked like the other teenagers around me. I could tell there was something different about him —a sense of peace and purpose.

I wanted to experience God’s peace and purpose, but my youthful rebellion and self-centeredness got in the way. For the first time, I heard Jesus Christ was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, yet I was still living life my own way.

During college, God’s love broke through my hard heart and began to change me. Then, while still in that season, God used a few older Christian brothers to disciple and mentor me. At that time, I remember hearing about a dynamic Bible study called, Experiencing God. It was by Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, and Claude King. This study is based on seven spiritual realities of knowing God and doing His will. read more

Sheep Among Wolves II Movie Review

Sheep Among Wolves II Movie Review

The fastest growing church in the world is in a country where we would least expect it. According to the recently released movie, Sheep Among Wolves II, the church is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else on the planet. This film is well worth watching if you are interested in, or actively pursuing Disciple Making Movements. If you haven’t yet taken a look, set aside a few hours, grab a coffee or some popcorn, and be ready to be encouraged.

Where the Film Inspires

The high level of commitment in the Iranian believers lives is deeply challenging. As the producers clearly say, Western churches and Christians have much to learn from the church in Iran. To be a disciple there means to be ready to die. For a woman it means being ready to be raped for sharing your faith. This was quite shocking to comprehend.

Another message that comes through loud and clear is that God can use anyone to advance His Kingdom. The leaders of the house churches in Iran are people with sorted backgrounds. They were suicidal, drug addicted, prostitutes, and many came from very troubled backgrounds. They encountered Jesus and were radically transformed. This film inspired me to believe God still dramatically changes lives. No person is too broken, or messed up, for Him to get ahold of and transform for His glory. read more

Leadership Book Review- Leading With A Limp

Leading With A Limp

Leaders and trainers of disciple making movements face many challenges. Christian leadership is an often painful journey. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we often are “leading with a limp.”

I remember when my husband and I took our first ministry position. We were straight out of Bible college and full of ideas. We had a great passion to change the world. It only took a few months, however, before we hit major obstacles and massive challenges. We soon realized we were in far over our heads!

In his book, “Leading with a Limp,” Dan Allender writes,

“The leader who doesn’t feel pressed to the wall often is not involved in a work that is advancing sufficiently against the forces of darkness. But the burned-out leader has allowed the intensity and exhaustion of his calling to take away the pleasure of hope.”

In pursuing disciple making movements among the unreached, we are very often pressed against a wall as we strive to see the Kingdom of God advance against the powers of darkness. It is easy to allow the intensity and exhaustion to affect our ability to hope.

During a recent sabbatical break, I listened to “Leading With A Limp.” I share this review and my takeaways from it in the hope that it will encourage you. If you have time, I recommend reading or listening to the whole book. You can get the book on Amazon or Audible if you prefer to listen like I often do.

Leading With A Limp ReviewLeading with a Limp by Dan Allender

“Leading with a Limp” is a rich feast for leaders. With transparency, Allender describes the ups and downs of his personal leadership journey at Mars Hill Seminary. He writes of the character of a leader and of the cost. Six leadership realities: Crisis, Complexity, Betrayal, Loneliness, Weariness, and Glory are described in Chapter Three. When experiencing these realities, a leader comes face to face with their own weaknesses.

Allender encourages us to acknowledge that we, as leaders, are the “chief sinners” in our organizations (or for us – in our movements). Leading from this kind of transparency is in opposition to the way the world operates. It carries risks. The book does not minimize these but helps the reader understand why they are worth taking.

Fear of betrayal and isolation for a leader leads to unhealthy hiding, manipulation and a desire to control. For example, one of the most difficult trials a leader can face is removing staff without being able to share the full details with others in the organization. This sets the leader up for attacks, gossip, and misunderstanding.

Allender says that disillusioned leaders are the best leaders. Disillusionment can be a pathway to freedom and hope. It is in this that leaders come to grips with their own limitations and embrace their great need to depend on God. They learn to walk with a limp.

The final chapter gives helpful insights into the roles of prophet, priest, and king. Allender shows how these three operate in an uncomfortable but necessary tension with one another.

Personal Take-Aways

My biggest takeaway was being encouraged to embrace my weaknesses and the high cost of leadership, allowing disillusionment and the death of idealism to birth a new and realistic hope within me. The description of the prophetic aspect of leadership was also very affirming.

“Prophets disrupt complacency and awaken desire through dreaming,” he writes.

They call people to dream about going to a new level in God’s plans and desires for the organization. They aren’t always welcomed but are needed for God’s purposes to come about.

I believe that anyone involved in disciple making movements has to in some way be willing to disrupt complacency and awaken a desire for something more.

God has so much more in store for His church! He has so much more He desires to do among the unreached!

To see disciple making movements come about we must be willing to be prophetic voices in the church. We must be willing to “rock the boat” and face the uncomfortable tensions that come from this. At the same time, we need to be willing to live our lives like Paul, acknowledging that we are the chief of sinners. We must be willing to embrace a lifestyle of leading with a limp.

Interested in other good books? Great leaders are constant learners and read about a variety of topics. There are some good suggestions in The 6 Best Books I Read This Year.

6 Best Books I Read This Year

Ever had a book sound great? You pick it up, or buy it online only to find out after a few chapters that it wasn’t worth your money? I have! Let me save you the trouble by giving you some Christian leadership book recommendations. Below are some great books on Leadership and Missions that are a definite good investment.

Prov 1:5 “Let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—”

I’ve given a short summary of the six best books I’ve read in the last year and how they have influenced me. I hope you will glean from these “mentors” as much as I have.

If you haven’t read these and want to grab a copy, just click on the link. You can help out our ministry and this website’s cost by purchasing them through the link since we are Amazon Affiliates. Thanks so much for considering doing that!

Either way, check out these books! They have been incredibly helpful to my personal growth and leadership this year! Christian leadership book recommendations are many, but these are my current personal favorites.

Want books more specific to Disciple Making Movements? Check out our Recommended DMM Resources page.

Awesome, Helpful Books For My Life This Year

insanityInsanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken

We live and work in a world where persecution of Jesus followers is on the rise. Nik Ripken lived and worked in a country where sharing the gospel meant you could be killed. His words of wisdom and faith challenged me to overcome my fears in new ways. He writes on page 38, “The ultimate goal of persecution is to silence witness.” Throughout his book Nik gives a bold challenge to walk in obedience by actively sharing our faith even when we are “sheep among wolves” as Jesus said we would be. Challenging and inspiring, this is not an easy book to read, but a powerful and helpful one for those of us who work among the unreached.

Jesus Journey by Trent Shepherd Jesus Journey

If you need a fresh look at the gospels from a new perspective, this is a great book. Trent helps us to see the humanity of Jesus with fresh insight- what did He feel, what were His relationships really like, what was it like for Him in his humanness? Each chapter takes the reader to a story from the gospels and sheds light on who Jesus is within that context. If you are longing to know Jesus more, this book will help to guide you. In my devotional life, I enjoy reading books like this for encouragement and help as I draw near to Jesus, seeking greater intimacy with the One I love. Jesus Journey was helpful to me in this way.

Essentialism Essentialism by Greg McKeown

This book was recommended to me and a group of leaders I work with by an organizational and leadership consultant who wanted us to do less but see more fruit for our efforts. It is not written from a strictly Christian perspective but many of the insights in the book truly align with God’s word. Greg first describes what it means to live as an essentialist person and leader. He then writes about how to understand what are “trivial many” activities and what are “vital few” things that really take us forward in our destiny and vision. This book has had a significant impact on me! It’s an easy read, but one of those that will shift your paradigms and how you think about your life. It helped me to narrow my focus, do what really matters, and to be less busy overall while being more productive and fulfilled.

The Broken Way by Ann Voscamp Broken Way

If you’ve never read Ann Voscamp, let me highly recommend her to you! She is honest, real, and a beautifully descriptive writer. I love her vulnerability and openness about her own journey. It brings encouragement and strength to my journey too. On page 20 she writes “Brokenness happens in a soul so the power of God can happen in a soul.” In this book she talks about grief, pain, and brokenness in all of our lives and what to do with it as we walk this journey with Jesus. I came away encouraged to embrace my grief and brokenness rather than trying to run from it and with a new ability to see how God was using it in my life. Great book!

Necessary Endings Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

I listened to this book on audible. Henry Cloud is another one of my favorite authors. His wisdom and insights for leadership and living emotionally healthy lives always impact me. This book was no exception. He writes about the importance of ending things that no longer give life, and helps us see that this is normal not horrible. He talks about how to discern when the season for something that had worked well in the past is over, and when it needs to end in order for new things to emerge and grow. This book helped me look at this issue in both my life and organization and take courageous steps to move forward rather than being stuck. If you feel like things aren’t moving forward, or you are stuck in a relationship, mindset or system, this book will really help.

Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton Pursuing God's will

This past year was an important decision-making year for our ministry. We were beginning a transition to a new leadership. We needed discernment, to hear from God. How would we hear from God in unity and reach a decision in a timely way about the upcoming transition? This book walked me through step by step with great insights and ideas. Highly recommend the book and process she outlines!

Enjoy as you read! These books will enrich, inspire and guide you well. Would love to know what you think of them or if you have already read them, what you thought!