The Top 5 Must Read Christian Leadership Books

If you have a hard time finding time to read good books, then this is the list for you. These are the top 5 Christian leadership books that you must read—if you read no other in this genre.

Christian leadership books

I’ve read a lot of books over the past 25 years. And I particularly love reading leadership books from a faith perspective. Since we have more than 3,000 books in our house, it’s hard for me to narrow down any top 5 list.

After going through my books, here is the list of the top 5 Christian leadership books you need to read.


Intentional Living by John Maxwell


This book is one of the best I read in 2015. But believe it or not, this book had nothing to do with me starting this blog. I had already decided to start this blog when I googled “intentional living”—only to discover that America’s #1 leadership authority had released a book by the same title that year. At this point, I knew I had to read this book. And so should you. Maxwell writes this book with no “Christianese” even though he began his professional life as a pastor. In fact, when I once heard him speak, he said he learned everything he knows about leadership from the Bible. Intentional Living is, by his own admission, his most personal book, and in it he tells his own story. This is his personal story, and he makes frequent references to God’s involvement in his life. He also explains the lessons he’s learned about intentional living through his mistakes. I found Intentional Living a great book. If want to learn about purposeful and intentional living, you will too.


Living Forward by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy


In their first book together, best-selling author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy have teamed up to write Living Forward. In Living Forward they teach you how to develop a Life Plan. A Life Plan is like an app for your life. While it may seem extreme to plan out your entire life, most people spend more time planning a one-week vacation than identifying what outcomes they want to see in the major areas of their lives. If you read Living Forward by Michael Hyatt, it may well turn out to be the best investment you ever make in yourself.


The Deeper Life by Daniel Henderson


Does your life ever feel like a jigsaw puzzle—where the pieces don’t fit together? Daniel Henderson can relate. Daniel wanted answers to the deep questions that would really change the way he lived his everyday life. Out of his own quest, he wrote The Deeper Life: Satisfying the 8 Vital Longings of Your Soul. In his book, Henderson, a former pastor, explains how we can live a more intentional, integrated life. He explains the longings of our souls—to experience God more deeply, to know ourselves better, to give ourselves to a worthy cause—and shows how we can use them in making daily decisions and long-term goals. He shows how we can live lives of “integrity”—which he calls “a life where all the pieces fit together”—as opposed to lives of compartmentalization. This book will help you see yourself in an entirely new way, and give you the tools to daily live your life the way you want.


One Big Thing by Phil Cooke


The Washington Post called One Big Thing one of the top five business books for 2012, but I would put this book in the category of Christian (self) leadership. We all want to know what God put us on the earth to do, to be a good steward with our lives, and to find our niche. But the key is you have to carve out your own niche for yourself. The point is that you don’t have to do things the way that everyone else does things. Trying to focus on one thing will help you accomplish more, stand out more from the crowd, and be who God made you to be.


Mentoring by Bobb Biehl


In Mentoring, Bobb Biehl shows us why being a mentor is so important, and how we can all become a mentor. We all need someone to come alongside us, and we can be all that one person to make the difference in someone else’s life. If you have had a mentor, you know why mentoring is so important. But what if you never had a mentor? Or what if no one has been an inflection point in your life? Then you know how valuable it would have been to you. And you can be the change agent for someone else. But if you’re thinking, “How can I do that?”, then start by reading Mentoring.


I hope this list of the top 5 Christian leadership books will be helpful to you. To be a leader, you must think like a leader. To lead your life, you must lead your thinking—because how you think will determine how you lead.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. These top 5 Christian books are the ones I believe are the most important ones to read if you were only going to read five. But I hope you will go well beyond reading these five. There are a lot of great Christian leadership books out there. And I hope you will enjoy many more than this short list of the top 5 Christian leadership books.


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