Recommended Reading List
for Lay Ministers

This is a recommended reading list for lay ministers in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, developed by the United States National Conference. This list is not meant to be exclusive. Lay ministers may, with the consent of their pastor and/or cluster leader, select other books which fit within the framework outlined below.

Lay ministers must read a total of 16 books, as follows:

  • Core (11 books): 1 book from each of the 11 Core sections.
  • Specialty (5 books): 5 books in your area of specialty. Those wanting to work with youth, for example, should choose five youth ministry books. Those specializing in pastoral care will choose books in that field.

Recommendations are provided, but the final decision about which books to read should be the result of dialogue with your pastor and/or cluster leader.

You can easily print out this entire list by using the “Print” button in the upper right.

Questions about this list or suggestions for additional books should be directed to Gary Gates, the Director of Ministerial Licenses.


Core Books

Select and read one book from each of the following sections (for a total of 11 books):

Hermeneutics and Preaching

  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. Zondervan, 1993.
  • Telling the Old, Old Story: the Art of Narrative Preaching, by David Larsen. Kregel Publications, 2001.
  • Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, by Haddon W. Robinson. Baker Books, 1980.
  • Between Two Worlds: The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century, by John R. W. Stott. Eerdmans, 1982.


Church History

  • Trials and Triumphs: History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Paul R. Fetters, editor. Church of the United Brethren in Christ, 1984.
  • Christianity Through the Ages, by Earle E. Lairns.. Zondervan Publishing, 1996.
  • Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce L. Shelley. Word Books, 1995.
  • Exploring Church History, by Howard F. Vos. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.


Theology

  • Christianity 101, by Gilbert Bilzekhian. Zondervan Publishing House, 1993.
  • Introducing Christian Doctrine, by Millard J. Erickson and L. Arnold Hustad. Baker Books, 2001.
  • Theological Perspectives, Paul R. Fetters, editor. Church of the United Brethren in Christ, 1992.
  • Who Needs Theology: An Invitation to the Study of God, by Stanley J. Grenz and Roger L. Olson. InterVarsity Press, 1996.
  • A Layman’s Guide to Protestant Theology, by William E. Hordern.. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2002.
  • The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus, by Lee Strobel. Zondervan Publishing House, 1998.


Empowering Leadership

  • Turning Vision into Action, by George R. Barna. Regal Books, 1996.
  • The Making of a Leader, by Robert J. Clinton. NavPress, 1988.
  • Courageous Leadership, by Bill Hybels. Zondervan Publishing House, 2002.
  • Raising Leaders for the Harvest, by Robert E. Logan and Neil Cole. ChurchSmart Resources, 1995.
  • Values Driven Leadership, by Aubrey Malphurs. Baker Books, 1996.
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, by John Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991.
  • Developing the Leaders Around You, by John Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.
  • The Empowered Leader: 10 Keys to Servant Leadership, by Calvin Miller. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995.
  • Upside Down: The Paradox of Servant Leadership, by Stacy T. Rinehart. NavPress, 1998.
  • The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influence, by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and Ken McElrath. Jossey Bass, 1999.
  • The Purpose-Driven Church, by Rick Warren. Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.


Functional Structures

  • The Habits of Highly Effective Churches: Being Strategic in Your God-Given Ministry, by George Barna. Regal Books, 1999.
  • Managing the Non-Profit Organization, by Peter F. Drucker. Harper Collins, 1990.
  • The Coming Church Revolution, by Carl George. Revel, 1994.
  • Mobilizing for Compassion, by Robert E. Logan and Larry Short. Baker Book House, 1994.
  • The High Impact Church, by Linus J. Morris. Touch Publications, 1993.
  • Church Without Walls, by Jim Peterson. NavPress, 1992.
  • The Prevailing Church, by Randy Pope. Moody Press, 2002.
  • How to Change Your Church (Without Killing It), by Alan Nelson and Gene Appel. W Publishing, 2000.
  • Looking in the Mirror: Self-Appraisal in the Local Church, by Lyle Schaller. Abingdon Press, 1984.
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, by Peter M. Senge. Currency Doubleday, 1990.
  • Radical Renewal: The Problem of Wineskins Today, by Howard A. Snyder. Touch Publications, 1996.
  • Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change, by Dan Southerland. Zondervan Publishing House, 2000.
  • Growing a Healthy Church, by Dann Spader. Moody Press, 1991.
  • Purpose-Driven Church, by Rick Warren. Zondervan Publishing House, 1995


Holistic Small Groups

  • The Second Reformation: Reshaping the Church for the 21st Century, by William A. Beckham. Touch Publications, 1995.
  • Cultivating a Life for God: Multiplying Disciples Through Life Transformation Groups, by Neil Cole. Church Smart Resources, 1999.
  • Leading Life Changing Small Groups, by Bill Donahue. Zondervan Publishing House, 2002.
  • Building a Church of Small Groups: A Place Where Nobody Stands Alone, by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson. Zondervan Publishing.
  • Life in His body: A Simple Guide to Active Cell Life, by David Finnel. Touch Publications, 1995.
  • Twenty/Twenty Vision: How to Create a Successful Church with Lay Pastors and Cell Groups, by Dale Galloway. Scott Publishing, 1986.
  • The Small Group Book, by Dale Galloway. Revell, 1995.
  • The Coming Church Revolution, by Carl George. Revell, 1994.
  • Nine Keys to Effective Small Group Leadership, by Carl George. Kingdom Publishing, 1997.
  • Getting Together: A Guide for Good Groups, by Em Griffin. InterVarsity Press, 1987.
  • Cell Group Explosion, by Joel Komiskey. Touch Publications, 1998.
  • How to Build a Small Group Ministry, by Neil F. McBride. NavPress, 1994.


Inspiring Worship

  • Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture, by Marva Dawn. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1995.
  • Worship His Majesty, by Jack Hayford. Word Books, 1987.
  • The New Worship, by Barry Liesch. Baker Books, 1996.
  • Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God, by Sally Morgenthaler. Zondervan, 1995.
  • Blended Worship: Achieving Substance and Relevance in Worship, by Robert Webber. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.
  • Worship is a Verb: Eight Principles for Transforming Worship, by Robert Webber. Hendrickson Publishers, 1992.
  • Worship Old and New, by Robert Webber. Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.
  • Real Worship, by Warren Wiersbe. Oliver Nelson Books, 1990.


Gift-Oriented Ministry

  • What You Do Best in the Body of Christ, by Bruce L. Bugbee. Zondervan Publishing, 1995.
  • Network, by Bruce L. Bugbee, Don Cousins, and Bill Hybels. Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.
  • Discover Your God-given Gifts, by Don Fortune and Katie Fortune. Chosen Books, 1996.
  • Your Spiritual Gifts can Help Your Church Grow, by C. Peter Wagner. Regal Books, 1994.


Need-Oriented Evangelism

  • em>Lifestyle Evangelism, by Joe Aldrich. Multnomah Press, 1999.
  • Evangelism That Works: How to Reach Changing Generations with the Unchanging Gospel, by George Barna. Regal Books, 1995.
  • Inside the Soul of a New Generation, by Tim Celek and Deiter Zander. Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism, 2nd edition, by Robert Coleman. Fleming H. Revell, 1994.
  • Jesus for a New Generation, by Kevin Graham Ford. InterVarsity Press,
  • Church for the Unchurched, by George G. Hunter. Abingdon Press, 1996.
  • How to Reach Secular People, by George G. Hunter. Abingdon Press, 1992.
  • Becoming a Contagious Christian, by Bill Hybels and Mark Mittelberg. Zondervan, 1993.
  • Prayerwalking, by Graham Kendrick and Steve Hawthorne. Creation House, 1993.
  • Out of Their Faces and into Their Shoes: How to Understand Spiritually Lost People and Give Them Directions to God, by John Kramp. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995.
  • Out of the Salt Shaker and into the World, by Rebecca Manley Pippert. InterVarsity Press, 1979.
  • Conspiracy of Kindness, by Steve Sjogren. Vine Books, 1993.


Passionate Spirituality

  • Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God, by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude King. Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994.
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens when God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People, by Jim Cymbala. Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.
  • Fresh Faith: What Happens when Real Faith Ignites God’s People, by Jim Cymbala. Zondervan Publishing House, 1999.
  • Fresh Power: Experiencing the Vast Resources of the Spirit of God, by Jim Cymbala. Zondervan Publishing House, 2001.
  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, by Richard Foster. Harper and Row, 1988.
  • Prayer, by Richard Foster. Harper Collins, 1982.
  • Follow Me, by Jan Hettinga. NavPress, 1996.
  • Drawing Closer, by Glen Martin and Dian Ginter. Broadman and Holmes Publishers.
  • Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God, by Gary Thomas. Zondervan Publishing, 1996.
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney. NavPress, 1991.
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines, by Dallas Willard. Harper and Row, 1988.


Loving Relationships

  • Community that is Christian, by Julie Gorman. Victor Books, 1993.
  • Open Heart, Open Home, by Karen Mains. David C. Cook Publishing, 1976.
  • The Power of Loving Your Church, by David Hansen and David L. Goetz. Bethany House Publishers, 1998.
  • Stretcher-Bearers, by Michael Slater and Eric Nachtrieb. Gospel Light Publications, 1985.
  • The Blessing, by Gary Smalley and John Trent. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986.
  • Breaking Down the Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Strife, by Raleigh Washington and Glen Kehrein. Moody Press, 1993.
  • Healing the Wounded, by John White and Ken Blue. InterVarsity Press.


Specialty Books

Select and read five books related to your area of specialty. (Recommendations are provided for several possible areas of specialty.)

Youth

  • Starting Right: Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry, by Kenda Creasy Dean, Chapman Clark, and Dave Rahn, editors. Zondervan/Youth Specialties Academic, 2001.
  • The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry, by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster. Upper Room Books, 1998.
  • Shaping the Spiritual Life of Students: A Guide for Youth Workers, Pastors, Teachers, and Campus Ministers, by Richard Dunn. InterVarsity Press, 2001.
  • Reaching a Generation for Christ: A Comprehensive Guide to Youth Ministry, by Richard Dunn and Mark Senter. Moody Press, 1998.
  • Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry: Nine Essential Foundations for Transforming the Lives of Young People, by Doug Fields. Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 1999.
  • Contagious Faith: Empowering Student Leadership in Youth Evangelism, by Dave Rahn and Terry Linhart. Group Publishing, 2000.
  • Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church, by Mark Senter, Wesley Black, Chapman Clark, and Malan Nel. Zondervan/Youth Specialties Academic, 2001.
  • Passing on the Faith: A Radical New Model for Youth and Family Ministry, by Merton Strommen and Richard A. Hardel. St. Mary’s Press, 2000.
  • Youth Ministry That Transforms: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Hopes, Frustrations and Effectiveness of Today’s Youth Workers, by Merton Strommen, Karen Jones, and Dave Rahn. Zondervan/Youth Specialties Academic, 2001.
  • God at the Mall, by Pete Ward. Hendrickson Publishing, 1999.


Pastoral Care and Counseling

  • The Effective Pastor: A Practical Guide to the Ministry, by Robert C. Anderson. Moody Press, 1985.
  • Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counseling: Resources for the Ministry of Healing and Growth, by Howard Clinebell. Abingdon Press, 1984.
  • Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide, by Gary Collins. Thomas Nelson, 1991.
  • The Power of Loving Your Church, by David Hansen and David L. Goetz. Bethany House Publishers, 1998.
  • Mastering Pastoral Care, by Bruce Larson, Paul Anderson, and Doug Self. Multnomah Press, 1990.
  • Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling, by Mark McMinn. Tyndale House Publishers, 1996.
  • The Skilled Pastor: Counseling as the Practice of Theology, by Charles W. Taylor. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1991.
  • Escape from Church, Inc: The Return of the Pastor-Shepherd, Glenn E. Wagner and Steve Halliday. Zondervan Publishing, 1998.


Educational Ministries

  • Introducing Christian Education: Foundations for the 21st Century, by Michael Anthony. Baker Books, 2001.
  • Teaching for Spiritual Growth, by Perry Downs. Zondervan Publishing, 1994.
  • Teaching for Reconciliation, revised edition, by Ronald Habermas. Wipf and Stock, 2002.
  • Education that is Christian, by Lois Lebar. Scripture Press, 1989.
  • Principles and Practices of Christian Education: An Evangelical Perspective, by Robert Pazmio. Baker Books, 1992.
  • Creative Bible Teaching, revised and expanded edition, by Larry Richards and Gary Bredfeldt. Moody Press, 1998.
  • The Dirt on Learning, by Thom Schultz and Joani Schultz. Group Publishing, 1999.
  • Nurture that is Christian: Developmental Perspectives on Christian Education, by James Wilhoit and John Dettoni. Baker Books, 1995.
  • Called to Teach: An Introduction to the Ministry of Teaching, by William Yount. Broadman and Holman, 1999.


Personal and Spiritual Development

  • The Power of Loving your Church, by David Hansen and David L. Goetz. Bethany House Publishers, 1998.
  • Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to be with God, by Bill Hybels and Lavonne Neff. InterVarsity Press, 1998.
  • The Life God Blesses: Weathering the Storms of Life that Threaten the Soul, by Gordon MacDonald. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1997.
  • Developing the Leader within You, by John Maxwell. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1993.
  • Visioneering: A Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision, by Andy Stanley. Multnomah Press, 2001.
  • The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?, by Rick Warren. Zondervan Publishing, 2002.


Worship

  • Dynamic Worship: Mission, Grace, Praise and Power: A Manual for Strengthening the Worship Life of Twelve Key Congregations, by Kennon L. Callahan. Harper and Row, 1994.
  • Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for the Turn-of-the-Century Culture, by Marva Dawn. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1995.
  • Worship His Majesty, by Jack Hayford. Word Books, 1987.
  • Developing an Effective Worship Ministry, by Tom Kraeuter. Training Resources, 1993.
  • The New Worship: Straight Talk on Music and the Church, by Bary Liesch. Baker Books, 1996.
  • Worship Evangelism: Inviting Unbelievers into the Presence of God, by Sally Morgenthaler. Zondervan, 1995.
  • Up with Worship: How to Quit Playing Church, by Anne Ortlund. Regal Books, 1975.
  • Whatever Happened to Worship?, by A. W. Tozer. Christian Publications, 1985.
  • Blended Worship: Achieving Substance and Relevance in Worship, by Robert Webber. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.
  • Worship is a Verb: Eight Principles for Transforming Worship, by Robert Webber. Hendrickson Publishers, 1992.
  • Worship Old and New., by Robert Webber. Zondervan Publishing House, 1994.
  • Real Worship, by Warren Wiersbe. Oliver Nelson Books, 1990.