Books that have most influenced me as an adult

I am often asked for book recommendations. As I packed up recently, when I came across books that were significant to me I put them apart on a shelf and before putting them all into one box together, I snapped a picture of those stacks:

2015-05-28 21.35.42This page is about explaining each one’s role and effect.

But first, a few introductory comments. Right now, presume the Bible itself, and commentaries/courses I have taken related to it to be the biggest influence. It goes without saying, but without saying can lead to suspicion. Second, much of the reading I did in my youth has had a shaping influence, but I don’t have those books anymore. I read books about missionaries, about nature, about indians and their relationship to nature, I read all of Farley Mowatt, and the Hardy Boys, and so on. Those are not represented here either. Third, the books depicted above can best be divided into those that have shaped my journey as a person, and those that have shaped me in my profession as a Pastor, but more-so as a Specialized Transitional Pastor. Neither sets of books has influence only in the personal or professional category, of course, but it makes for a helpful separation list. Most of those in this picture fall into the professional influence list.

NOTE: This page was begun in June 2015 and will be an ongoing work in progress.

Books that influenced me most personally:

Books that influenced me professionally (starting with the most recently read):

“How your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems” by Peter Steinke

“Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times” by Peter Steinke

“A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the era of quick fix” by Edwin Friedman

“Generation to Generation: Family Process in church and synagogue” by Edwin Friedman

“Deep Change: Discovering the Leader within” by Robert E. Quinn



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