Ayanna Johnson Watkins's favorite books for ministry

What are the best books for ministry written in the 21st century? We asked seven pastors to pick their favorites. — Ed.

Nadia Bolz-Weber deftly weaves together scripture with the text of her own life and the lives around her in a way that is disarmingly authentic and full of the grace I long for daily in my own experience of ministry. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint (Jericho) bears witness to the presence of God in the middle of mess after tragic, hilarious mess.

While meetings can be founts of creativity, productivity, and brilliant communication, they can also be plodding, demoralizing, and organizationally fatal. Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable about Solving the Most Painful Problem in Business, by Patrick Lencioni (Jossey-Bass), argues in story form that it is possible to consistently have the former kind. Lencioni’s fable is set in a fictitious corporate environment, but its principles carry over easily into ministry settings.