Otis Moss III's favorite books for ministry

September 30, 2014

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

Anne Jackson’s personal account of her struggle with burnout and her road to recovery, Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic (Zondervan) is a pragmatic and cautionary tale for all engaged in ministry. With humor and honesty, she pulls back the veil on the myths that the church creates about the purpose and role of the minister.

Reading Eugene Peterson is akin to sitting on the front porch with a wise grandfather, mesmerized by his firsthand knowledge of events, people, and places. Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ (Eerdmans) finds a place on my shelf as part devotional, part Bible study, and part collection of down-home wisdom from an elder who knows my struggles.

The brothers Chip and Dan Heath have written a business book that is applicable to the church as well. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Crown Business) examines corporations and organizational psychology to get to the core of the question, How does one create successful change in a difficult environment? This book would be very helpful for a minister who is new in the pastorate or is attempting to make significant changes.

In The Choice: Living Your Passion Inside Out (Hope For Life Inter­national), Frank Thomas takes us through his transition from megachurch pastor to seminary professor. This is not a tale of trauma but a reflective story of the joy of learning to discover the true heart of one’s ministry and gifts.