What Leaders are Reading

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“Leaders are learners.”
This universal leadership truth sees pastors and other church leaders constantly looking for the best books and other resources to stretch their thinking.
Recently, I gathered with a group of lead pastors from six of Canada’s largest and most influential churches. One of the questions asked was, “What are you reading these days?” Their answers give you a quick snapshot of some of the most compelling new, and not so new, books that are making an impact.

Paul Wartman
Peace Portal Alliance Church
White Rock, British Columbia

• Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright

• Speaking of Sin: The Lost Language of Salvation – Barbara Brown Taylor

• Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional – Jim Belcher

• Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink

I am preaching through the book of Exodus – have re-read two great books on the relationship between belief & certainty (or rather, pseudo-certainty)

• Proper Confidence: Faith, Doubt and Certainty in Christian Discipleship – Leslie Newbigin

• The Myth of Certainty: The Reflective Christian & the Risk of Commitment – Daniel Taylor

Dan Cochrane
Crossroads Church
Red Deer, Alberta

• Kingdom Without Borders – Miriam Adeney (A great look at what God is doing globally)

• A New Kind of Christian – Brian McLaren (Annoying but necessary to keep abreast of what is happening in the greater Christian world.

• Life Among the Lutherans – Garrison Keiller (For fun)

Henry Schorr
Centre Street Church
Calgary, Alberta

• Counterfeit Gods – Timothy Keller

• IT – Craig Groeschel

• Deliberate Simplicity – Dave Browning

• Missional Renaissance – Reggie McNeal

• Sticky Church – Larry Osborne

• The Monkey and the Fish – Dave Gibbons

• The Same Kind of Different As Me – Ron Hall & Denver Moore

Wayne Alguire
Trinity Baptist Church
Kelowna, British Columbia

• The Tangible Kingdom – Hugh Halter and Matt Smay

• Missional Renaissance – Reggie McNeal

• An Unstoppable Force – Erwin McManus

• The Monkey and the Fish – Dave Gibbons

• Simple Church – Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger

• Culture Shift – Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro

• The End of Religion – Bruxy Cavey

• The Prodigal God – Timothy Keller

Keith Taylor
Beulah Alliance Church
Edmonton, Alberta

• How The Mighty Have Fallen – Jim Collins
– (a must read for older organizations)

• The Forgotten Ways – Alan Hirsch (it’s been around for a while)

• They Found the Secret – Raymond Edmond (story of 20 leaders who encountered the deeper spiritual life- a light read yet inspiring)

• The Principle of the Path – Andy Stanley (some good preaching fodder)

Greg Hochhalter
Sherwood Park Alliance Church
Sherwood Park, Alberta

• The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible – by Scot McKnight (great inspiration for teaching, message preparation, etc.)

• Under the Unpredictable Plant – Eugene Peterson (great soul care reading, especially for pastors. I feel bad that I didn’t read it until now.)

• So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church – Leonard Sweet (this is the book that’s currently messing with my mind and reframing some thoughts and ideas about church.)

• How the Mighty Fall – Jim Collins (Favorite recent “business book” with considerable cross-over application to the church world)

What are you reading these days?

the author

Scott Cochrane


  1. Think Orange by Reggie Joiner
    The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers
    Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf
    Theology of Hope by Jurgen Moltmann
    The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper

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