Our guest blogger today is Nathan Millican. He is husband to Lauren, daddy to Lucianne, Lydia, Samuel, and Laurali, and the Lead Pastor at Foothills Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ. He regularly blogs at www.theologyalongtheway.org and you can follow him on Twitter: @nmillican. Because he reads a lot about ministry and leadership, I’ve asked him to recommend five books that have impacted him.
- Reset: Living A Grace-Paced Life In A Burnout Culture by David Murray. I believe rest or margin is an indispensable discipline if a pastor is going to run the race in a way that pleases Jesus. Too many pastors keep to a schedule where they incessantly get up crazy early and stay up crazy late. I’m growing in the discipline of rest and margin, and my soul is better for it, as is my relationship with my bride, my kids, and the church staff I’ve been set-apart to lead.
- The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church by Timothy Z. Witmer. This book helped me in two ways. First, it helped me see that pastoring is not relegated to a Sunday morning sermon. The role and responsibility of a pastor is to shepherd the flock. Second, it gave me a helpful paradigm to actually do the work of shepherding. That paradigm consists of knowing the sheep, feeding the sheep, leading the sheep, and protecting the sheep.
- Humility: True Greatness by C. J. Mahaney. Simply put, I have struggled mightily with pride over the years. It has manifested itself in all sorts of insidious ways. Mahaney’s book showed me page-after-page the ugliness of pride and the beauty and power of humility.
- Good & Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness by David Powlison. I’ve read this book three times, and it came out in 2016! Powlison’s understanding and insights concerning the nature of the human heart were deeply encouraging, challenging, and sobering. This book has been a lifeline in ascertaining the inner workings of my heart, as well as showing me how to grow, change, and walk in victory over anger.
- 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke. I feel, at times, the enormous blessing and challenge that technology affords me. I sense it encroaching upon my kids’ hearts as well as mine. To that end, I wanted to equip myself to pastor my own soul, parent my children, and lead my congregation with a more robust theological foundation of the dos-and-don’ts, the blessings and challenges that technology—specifically, our phones—creates.
I hope these books help you.