Book recommendation from Pastor Chip

  • crucial conversations

    When stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong, you have three choices: avoid a crucial conversation and suffer the consequences; handle the conversation badly and suffer the consequences; and discover how to communicate best when it matters most. This guide gives you the tools you need to step up to life's difficult conversations.

  • canoeing the mountains

    Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along. Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world. If you?re going to scale the mountains of ministry, you need to leave behind canoes and find new navigational tools. Reading this book will set you on the right course to lead with confidence and courage.

  • a man called ove

    A grumpy yet lovable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

    Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

    Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

  • When Helping Hurts

    Churches and individual Christians typically have faulty assumptions about the causes of poverty, resulting in the use of strategies that do considerable harm to poor people and themselves. Don't let this happen to you, your ministry or ministries you help fund! A must read for anyone who works with the poor or in missions, When Helping Hurts provides foundational concepts, clearly articulated general principles and relevant applications. The result is an effective and holistic ministry to the poor, not a truncated gospel.

    "Initial thoughts" at the beginning of chapters and "reflection questions and excercises" at the end of chapters assist greatly in learning and applying the material. A situation is assessed for whether relief, rehabilitation, or development is the best response to a situation. Efforts are characterized by an "asset based" approach rather than a "needs based" approach. Short term mission efforts are addressed and economic development strategies appropriate for North American and international contexts are presented, including microenterprise development.

    Now with a new preface, a new foreword, and a new chapter to assist in the next steps of applying the book's principles to your situation, When Helping Hurts is a new classic!

  • A Grace Disguised

    An expanded edition of this classic book on grief and loss with a new preface and epilogue.

    Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.

  • Daring Greatly

    When it came time to name her new book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brené harkened back to a speech that Teddy Roosevelt gave in 1910. In it, Roosevelt said:

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

    The powerful quote resonated with Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, who gave the blockbuster TEDTalks “Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability” and “Brené Brown: Listening to Shame.” In the introduction to her book — which arrives on shelves today — Brown riffs on Roosevelt’s words, which she says perfectly encapsulate her research into why we find being vulnerable such a hard thing to do.

    “When we spend our lives waiting until we’re perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make,” says Brown. “Perfect and bulletproof are seductive, but they don’t exist in the human experience.”

  • The Gift of being yourself

    This is my best selling book and the one many have said is their favorite. Writing it was as much an act of unwrapping a gift as was the case in the writing of Surrender to Love.

    This is a book about the spirituality of originality and authenticity – how our calling from God starts with who we are in our uniqueness. It is, therefore, the book in which I work quite extensively with the concepts of the true and false self – or, as I prefer to put it – living our truth versus being caught up in the culdesacs of our various false, even if adaptive, ways of being. It is a call to discover and actualize our true-self-in-Christ.

    Nothing is more important. For, as Thomas Merton reminds us, “There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find Him.”

  • A Failure of Nerve

    Ten years after his death, Edwin Friedman's insights into leadership are more urgently needed than ever. He was the first to tell us that all organizations have personalities, like families, and to apply the insights of family therapy to churches and synagogues, rectors and rabbis, politicians and teachers.

    Failure of Nerve is essential reading for all leaders, be they parents or presidents, corporate executives or educators, religious superiors or coaches, healers or generals, managers or clergy. Friedman's insights about our regressed, seat-belt society, oriented toward safety rather than adventure, help explain the sabotage that leaders constantly face today.

    Suspicious of the quick fixes and instant solutions that sweep through our culture only to give way to the next fad, he argues for strength and self-differentiation as the marks of true leadership. His formula for success is more maturity, not more data; stamina, not technique; and personal responsibility, not empathy.

    This book was unfinished at the time of Friedman's death, and originally published in a limited edition. This new edition makes his life-changing insights and challenges available to a new generation of readers.

  • searching for sunday

    Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

    Centered around seven sacraments, Evans' quest takes readers through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest.

    A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

  • Scary close

    After decades of failed relationships and painful drama, Donald Miller decided he’d had enough. Impressing people wasn’t helping him connect with anyone. He’d built a life of public isolation, yet he dreamed of meaningful relationships. So at forty years old he made a scary decision: to be himself no matter what it cost.

    Scary Close is a book about the risk involved in choosing to impress fewer people and connect with more, about the freedom that comes when we stop acting and start loving. It is a story about knocking down old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family, and a satisfying career. And it all feels like a conversation with the best kind of friend: smart, funny, true, important.

    Scary Close is Donald Miller at his best.

  • Breathing Underwater

    We are all addicted in some way. When we learn to identify our addiction, embrace our brokenness, and surrender to God, we begin to bring healing to ourselves and our world. In Breathing Under Water, Richard Rohr shows how the gospel principles in the Twelve Steps can free anyone from any addiction—from an obvious dependence on alcohol or drugs to the more common but less visible addiction that we all have to sin.