One of the things that I love about the summer months is that there's a little more time in our schedules (as Campus Missionaries) for personal and leadership development. Well, as I talked to students at the end of the semester, I realized that I kept recommending the same short-list of books in nearly every conversation. So, I thought I'd share them here just in case anyone is looking for reading material.
Book 1 - Want More?
Now, I'm actually reading this book with a few students this summer because I haven't read it before. But it came highly recommended to me from a few friends on staff at Chi Alpha at the University of Virginia. Basically, it's a practical yet theologically rich book about the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer today.
We have students from dozens of different theological and denominational backgrounds, but I think what Francis Chan identified in Forgotten God is completely accurate. Christians today have a low view or little knowledge about the Holy Spirit. This book does come from a pentecostal perspective and as a pentecostal myself, I do my best to encourage our students to explore this theological topic personally. It's not that I want everyone to believe in the same things that I do, but I'd like for more people (myself included) to build our theology from biblical doctrine instead of from our experiences. It takes time and careful study, but it's always worth it.
Amazon Link || Want More? by Tim Enloe
Book 2 - The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
I know that everyone isn't a John Maxwell fan like I am but what I appreciate about this book is that it provides a basic framework for processing information about leadership. In turn, it allows for people to get a handle on what it means to influence people so that they can assess themselves, have conversations about leadership and identify strengths they have as a leader that they may not have had language to describe.
Of course, information doesn't make someone a leader (or even a better one) but most college students I know haven't read any books on the topic of leadership and I think this one is a solid place to start. I had a mentor walk with me through the content of this book via VHS lectures from John Maxwell about ten years ago, but I'm looking forward to a refresher course this summer and a chance to discuss the topic of leadership with a few of the guys I mentor.
Amazon Link || The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Book 3 - Habitudes (Chi Alpha Edition)
If you haven't read anything by Tim Elmore, Habitudes is a wonderful place to start. He basically shares a leadership principle and discussion questions based around a picture. For instance, he shares the lesson of the starving baker. And in short, it's describing the person that gives and gives but never takes care of themselves. So, in Habitudes, he has a picture of a sad, starving baker and goes into depth to tell this parable before sharing the principle.
My favorite part of this book (and the series as a whole) is that the format really lends itself to people committing these stories and principles to memory for the long haul. I used one of the Habitudes books as the curriculum for a small group a few years ago and to this day, I've had conversations with those guys and they've at least remembered a handful of the lessons we discussed!
Well, just a few weeks ago, Chi Alpha Campus Ministries partnered with Tim Elmore and Growing Leaders to put out a new edition of Habitudes that specifically discusses the leadership principles we hold most dear in our organization. The price is a little steep and I think it's only available in print, but I think it's worth it!
Purchase Online Habitudes (Chi Alpha Edition) by Tim Elmore & Harvey Herman