Five Helpful Books on Church Leadership in The Pandemic

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If you lead an organization or a church, you know that the pandemic has brought out our need to be flexible and creative. Whether we like it or not, this season is a time of change and good leaders will navigate their way to the other side successfully…not without failure…but still overall, successfully.

Here are some books that I think are exceptional in helping us through times like these. The first two are secular from Harvard Business school profs. The third is a mix of secular and church world. The fourth and fifth take the work in the third and apply it to church leadership.

Leading Change by Kotter – Kotter is a leading expert on change. This book gives an 8 step process to navigating change.

Leadership Without Easy Answers by Heifetz – I have reviewed this book before. It matured my thinking on leadership quite a bit a number of years ago. His principles are timeless. You can read other posts I wrote on this book here and here.

A Failure of Nerve by Friedman – Every single church leader (really every Christian) should read this book. He talks about how leadership is far more than knowing strategies. You have to also be aware of emotional systems and processes that can help or hurt your leadership and the health of an organization.

Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times by Steinke – I cannot think of a better book to read right now for church leaders. He takes Friedman’s work and applies it to church systems. Super helpful!

Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach also by Steinke – rather than how to lead in light of emotional systems and processes, this book fleshes out those processes with a greater degree of depth. If you don’t know why that is important, you need to read this book even more.

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