First Baptist Church, Mound City

A place to connect with God and others

My Top 10 Books of 2016 (Joe)

The order of the books reflects the sequence in the calendar year in which I read them, and is not a token of their quality or value to me.

1. Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering, by Tim Keller. Keller is always terrific. This book is bilbical, helpful, and would be an excellent read for anyone who wants to be an encouragement to hurting people.

2. The Wright Brothers, by Andrew McCullough. My aviation itch got scratched a little listening to this inspiring account of two pastor's kids from Ohio and their research and development taking them to a place no one had ever been to before.

3. Turn the Ship Around, by David Marquet. An excellent leadership book as this Navy captain recounts his experiences taking a poorly performing ship to becoming an award-winning crew. Similar to one from a few years ago called "It's Your Ship".

4. Lasting Impact, by Carey Nieuwhof. The subtitle is "7 Powerful Conversations that Will Help Your Church."  I hope to have these seven conversations with our leadership team in 2017.

5. The 33, by Jonathan Franklin. Inspiring true story about the Chilean miners trapped for 69 days. So many dynamics within the group, and then also on the surface. I am drawn to true stories of courage. A couple others from the year didn't quite make the cut, but I encourage you to look for those kinds of books.

6. The Testament, by John Grisham. This is a novel involving a missionary deep in the jungles of the Amazon region.  The author spins a tale of deep faith and commitment contrasted with the epitome of self-absorption. With both on full display, I know to which life I hope to aspire.

7. It is About Islam, by Glenn Beck. A well-researched history of Islam and their all-out aggression to eliminate any threat to their existence. I write this one day after another horrific attack for which ISIS claims credit. Avoiding use of the word "Islam" has not reduced the threat or calmed our enemies.

8. Designed to Lead, by Eric Geiger. The premise of the books is that the local church ought to be the primarily leadership development institution in our society. The calling and mission of the church are too important, the stakes are too high, the need to reach people with the Gospel of Christ is too great to leave this to chance or to others. We at FBC are making plans to give this a higher priority in 2017.

9. Poverty of Nations, by Wayne Grudem. A look at the economic systems in various places around the world, and at various times in history. The free market remains the most powerful engine of human development and dignity. The contrast between systems of control and freedom speak for themselves when it comes to the flourishing of a society and the dignity of its people.

10. Playing for Keeps, by Reggie Joiner. A book for parents and any who are working with kids. The stakes are high when it comes to the paths our kids take. While 18 years seems like forever to the parent of a toddler, any empty-nester will tell you how fast the time flies. We have to get this parenting thing right.

Honorable Mention:

11 and 12. iParent and Growing Up Social. Help for parents, and anyone who works with kids, in navigating the treacherous waters of the teen years and social media. I have read iParent multiple times and it remains one of the few books that could be longer.