My Sabbatical Reading List

imagesOne of the blessings of this summer is a six-week sabbatical the elders of our church extended to me. What a gift! I’m very appreciative, and am really benefitting from the time to recharge, reboot, and refresh. Primarily, I’m focused on one question during this sabbatical: What will it take to mobile 800+ people to reach the nations? This has been a question that has been stirring in my heart for a number of months, so the timing of this sabbatical couldn’t be better. In addition to some specific church visits, the SEND Conference, an interview at NAMB, and increased time in prayer and the Word, I’ve selected a number of books to read during this time away that should serve me well in thinking through this question. But before I list those, a word about sabbaticals. And why a word about sabbaticals? Because many people in ministry think a sabbatical is a reward for the past, something akin to “extra vacation.” I disagree. Thanks to fellow pastor and friend Brandon Barker, I gained a better perspective on sabbaticals that, months ago, helped me forge a much more effective plan for this one. In the words of Brandon, “Sabbaticals are not about the past, but about the future. They should be used to get focused and recharged so that you can continue to lead well for the next decade or more.” He’s exactly right! That’s why I’m so excited about these six weeks—what a prime opportunity to plug back in and get fully charged for the work ahead. My plan includes five “avenues” to do exactly this, and reading is one of those. Lord willing, these books are just one ingredient in the recipe God is “cooking” in me so that I, along with our team, lead our faith family effectively and efficiently, developing a multiplying culture, not just an adding one. “Finish the Mission” by John Piper and David Mathis “The Gospel Commission” by Michael Horton “Dying to Grow” by Nathan Lorick “The Insanity of God” by Nik Ripkin “Stone Campbell Movement” by Leroy Garrett “Desiring God” by John Piper “What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality?” by Kevin DeYoung “UnCommon Community” by Harvest Bible Chapel What books are you reading this summer? Any ones in particular that deal with or lean into the theme of mobilization? Feel free to share! Incidentally, if you’re a pastor and would like to see either my or Brandon’s sabbatical “proposal” in order to think through your own, let us know. Start by replying to this post and we’ll get in touch.

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