I'm an avid reader because it's one of the best ways I've found to learn and develop personally. Every year I read some incredible books on leadership and ministry. However, every once in a while I will read a book that I wish I could have read in my early twenties!
One of the highlights of my ministry is getting to develop young leaders at our church. I love watching them grow and helping them take their next steps! So it should be no surprise that I recommend books to them often. In order to help them grow to their full potential, I decided to put this list together of the top 10 books I recommend to young leaders.
10 Books Every Young Leader Should Read
1) H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick
I read this book at age 30, but I wish I could have read it when I was 20! It's super practical and takes a holistic approach to leadership from a macro level. If I only had one or two books I could recommend to the young leaders I develop, this would be one of them!
2) Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
In Next Generation Leader, Andy Stanley shares what he wishes someone would have told him as a young leader. He breaks the book down into five things that every young leader should know and embrace as they learn to lead those around them. The current generation of leaders will eventually pass the baton to those in the next generation, and this book is all about getting you ready for that time!
3) The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadershipby John Maxwell
This is one of the leadership classics for me. It's so good that I re-read it every year or two! Over my 12 years of leadership in the local church, I've found every Ine of these laws to be true.
4) Communicating for a Changeby Andy Stanley
This is hands down the best book I've ever read about communication and preaching. I read it for the first time around ten years ago, and I still construct messages using the practical steps and outline in this book. If you are a young preacher or communicator, this has got to be at the top of your list!
5) Multipliersby Liz Wiseman
Every leader is either a multiplier or a diminished. Unfortunately, too many of us are diminishers by accident! This book takes a practical look at why some people multiply the talents of those around them and others don't. It also gives concrete steps to take to become a multiplier in where you lead.
6) Visioneeringby Andy Stanley
"Everybody ends up somewhere in life, but a few people end up somewhere on purpose.” The only way to get yourself and your ministry where they should be is through a clear and compelling vision. Leaders are the ones who know the way, go the way, and show the way, because all leaders cast vision. Can you cast vision in a way that mobilizes those behind you to live out what could be and what should be? This book is a practical guide of how to cast vision in a way that unlocks your potential and the potential of those around you!
7) Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Another leadership classic, this book is simple yet powerful. It’s sold over 25 million copies for a reason, and I recommend it for all young leaders. It’s still as true for leaders today as it was 27 years ago when it was first released.
8) Ask itby Andy Stanley
This book is more about character than leadership, but I'm convinced you can't lead for long without great character! This is one of the most impactful books I've ever read, and the simple question it poses informs most all of my decisions.
9) Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
Written by a hall of fame youth worker (if there were such a thing,) this book is full of practical knowledge that everyone starting out in youth ministry needs. Moreover, it give young youth workers the steps to take to get started the right way!
10) Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick
I wouldn't call this a leadership book as much as a faith book. Nothing I've ever read (outside of the Bible) has impacted my faith as deeply. This book flipped a faith switch inside of me, and I've believed bigger and experienced more because of it!
If you are a young leader or have young leaders you are developing, I would highly recommend reading each of these books over the next year or two! Even if you aren't a young leader, any of these you haven't read will make great reads for your own leadership development. We would love to hear from you as well. What book did we miss that should have made it on the list? Let us know in the comments below!