The Best 5 Books on Leading Change

church leadership Mar 15, 2018

Change is inevitable. Everything changes … constantly. And the rate of change is not going to slow down. This is why every church leader needs to know how to lead their staff and congregation through change.  I’ve pulled together my list of the best five books on leading change. Each one of these books will help you navigate leading change in unique ways. Here’s my list of the best 5 books on leading change:

5. Who Stole My Church? by Gordon MacDonald

Let me first say I wish this book didn’t have to be written. I wish churches young and old were so mission-central and focused on the task Jesus has given to us of making disciples that they willingly embrace the changes necessary to reach the next generation for Christ. But, unfortunately we know that is not always the case. This book gives a glimpse of what it’s like for some who do not readily accept that the church must constantly change its methods without compromising its message. It shows that they are not “bad” people, but that they just need to be led. It is helpful for change-leaders to know how some receive our vision for change.

4. Who Moved My Pulpit? by Thom Rainer

Thom Rainer writes from years of pastoring and leading as well as conversations with thousands of pastors who deal with all the same challenges when leading change in their churches. He gives an 8-step process for navigating change. This book is worth picking up and reading through if you want answers to all the questions surrounding any change you try to make in your church.

3. Leading Change by John Kotter

I believe every leader should read this book. Period. You will lead change at some point, probably sooner than later, and likely on an ongoing basis. This book gives foundational strategies and tactics for leading change within any organization. The principles are applicable to pastors who are leading change within their contexts.

2. A Sense of Urgency by John Kotter

One of the principles Kotter teaches in Leading Change is creating a sense of urgency from which to lead change. That principle has become so important as the rate of change has exponentially increased and change has become a constant need. Because of that, Kotter has dedicated an entire book to teaching you how to create a genuine sense of urgency in your organization so that change can more quickly happen when it’s needed.

1. Leading Change Without Losing It by Carey Nieuwhof

I don’t know of a better book to read than this one on leading change within a church! I read this book in one sitting when I was trying to navigate several change initiatives at my church (changing the service times, worship style, and the church name just to give a few!) I desperately needed guidance and this book provided it. Nieuwhof speaks from vast experience revitalizing churches. He just plain knows what he’s talking about! If you read one book on this list, read this one!

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to find time to read every book that is recommended to you. Why not listen instead? Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Bonus: Preaching Killer Sermons by Lane Sebring

Any change initiative requires vision-casting. This book will help you with that. This is a practical guide to sermon creation and delivery. I focus on how to ensure that you are communicating your ideas with absolute clarity, that your sermon is persuasive, and you are preaching with a keen understanding of your audience. Pick up this book if you want to discover how to create and deliver messages that captivate and inspire your listeners.

These are my top choices for books on leading change. If you click on my links and make a purchase I get a small affiliate commission. This does not affect your price whatsoever, and I only recommend products or services that love and have benefited from.

What books on leading change have made the most impact on you?


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