When I work with leaders, one of the questions that I ask them is what they are reading. The benefits of reading are numerous, impacting your health, your leadership skills, and your creative process.

 Here are just a few ways that reading benefits your life:

  • It sharpens your mind
  • It makes you a better writer
  • It slows memory decline
  • It challenges your paradigms
  • It stimulates idea generation
  • It makes you a better storyteller
  • It helps you see from another perspective
  • It demonstrates an openness to learning

My Summer Bookshelf:

This week, I thought I would share some of the books on my summer reading list that might be helpful to you. Some books I read simply for enjoyment, and some I study at length to fully understand the author’s arguments. Here are a few that I believe will provoke your thinking and help refine the skills you will need in days ahead.

Louder Than Words – Todd Henry

I just got this one and I am very excited to dig into it! In his latest book, Todd tackles one of the most important issues that many of us struggle with: defining and moving in our unique creative voice. The book lays out a strategy for uncovering and developing your authentic voice in order to create work that resonates deeply with the world around you.

The Seven Mountain Renaissance – Johnny Enlow

In the third book of the Seven Mountain series, Johnny Enlow lays out a prophetic picture of how he sees the body of Christ advancing in each of the seven mountains of culture in days ahead. I have mixed feelings about this one. While I don’t agree with some of the ideas presented, I respect the fact that Johnny has laid out some concrete thoughts on how to make an impact on culture. Many of us understand the concepts behind the seven mountains, but there haven’t been a lot of specifics on how to do it. This is one of the first books I’ve seen that does it.

God Is At Work – Ken Eldred

This is the only Christian book I have found that goes into depth regarding building businesses specifically to impact nations through the alleviation of poverty. Eldred is a highly successful businessman from Silicon Valley who has shifted to building businesses in the developing world. In the book, he talks about how Christian business people are uniquely set up to create social impact through business.

 Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids For The Innovation Era – Tony Morgan & Ted Dintersmith

I’m excited to get into this one. Tony Morgan is a strong advocate for education reform. I loved his last book, Creating Innovators. His newest book presents a new vision for education, focusing on the creativity and initiative necessary to for students to succeed in today’s economy. If we are serious about cultural renovation we must get involved in education reform. This book is an important read if you are a parent, educator or businessperson interested in helping equip the workers of the next generation.

Connecting To Change The World: Harnessing The Power Of Networks For Social Impact – Peter Plastrik, Madeline Taylor, John Cleveland

This book is a must for anyone involved in social impact projects. If we are going to achieve greater levels of impact, we must adopt a network-centric approach to solving difficult problems. The book focuses on the challenges of building networks that actually accomplish something, giving practical advice on how to form and manage a high-impact network.

School Of The Prophets – Kris Vallotton

I believe that one of the big keys to successful kingdom building will be how we understand and implement prophetic revelation as it relates to our work. School of the Prophets provides solid foundational material, as well as critical advanced training on implementing the prophetic in your daily life. This understanding will be essential in days ahead.

Apostolic Centers – Alain Caron

Alain Caron took his church from a traditional model to an apostolic center within two years. In the book, he details the steps they took to make their transition, as well as sharing best practices for those aspiring to build through this new kingdom model. He also shares key insights into the future impact of apostolic centers around the world.

Creativity, Inc – Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull, the co-founder of Pixar Studios talks about the challenges of implementing creativity into your business. This is one of the best business books I have read on implementing and maintaining a culture of creativity in an organization.  It’s also a fun, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most creative organizations in the world.

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

If we are going to connect our work to the Kingdom, I believe that we need to walk in a constant tension between best business skills and spiritual insight.  Otherwise, we’re doing things just like everyone else. These books offer insights into how to do both. I hope you check them out!

What books are on your summer reading list?

Do you have a recommendation you would like to share?

I’d love to hear from you.