The holidays are just around the corner, and of course you’ve got all the big shopping out of the way, but what about your pastor? Books are always a good bet but it’s kind of hard to know what he doesn’t already have.
Check this list out if you’re doing that last-minute Christmas shopping right now!
If your pastor is a big fan of D.A. Carson, try this latest entry in his series New Studies in Biblical Theology. Written by Graham A. Cole, God the Peacemaker provides great material for new sermons on the topic of peace, something many Christians will be meditating on this Christmas.
It’s hard to argue with a book that promises to help you fight for joy. Written by the ever-popular John Piper, this is a sequel of sorts to Desiring God, a guide to understanding scripture through the lens of Christian hedonism. In this book, Piper acknowledges that finding that desire for God is not always easy, and helps the reader recapture joy in their own spiritual life. A must for any pastor’s bookshelf this year.
There are few theologians that surpass Jonathan Edwards in staying power. This work by Sean Michael Lucas, published in 2011, does a great job of expounding on the American puritan writer in an easily digestible way, perfect for pastors who are not yet familiar with his works. Just be sure not to give this to any history buff pastors- they probably already have it!
Published in 2014, this second edition of the IVP Bible Background Commentary of the New Testament is crucial for any pastor’s shelf. Combining Keener’s own insights with his knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, this work is helpful for Catholic and Protestant pastors as well as Bible study leaders. This is the first update it’s seen in almost twenty years so even if your pastor owns the first one it’s definitely worth the buy!
It’s hard to find a C.S. Lewis book that most pastors don’t already own- The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity are just too essential! The Weight of Glory is a little more underrated though, and as a compilation of C.S. Lewis’ World War II-era sermons, makes a perfect pastoral gift.
If you’ve got a nerdy pastor, Tolkien is the way to go. While this isn’t one of Tolkien’s more Christianity-focused works, sometimes pastors are just looking for an interesting read for the holidays, and this one is so recent there’s a good chance they may have missed it.
If your pastor is a true bibliophile and you’re worried he already has everything on this list, try Arrabon by David Bailey. Self-published on Lulu.com, Arrabon is about the process of bringing together multi-cultural church communities through worship and ending segregation in the church. Great for any pastor who is interested in uniting his passion with diversity with his passion for worship. Be sure to check out the album on their website as well!
Another one that should be on every pastor’s bookshelf. Witherington manages to put together an exhaustive and unique historical approach to the history behind the New Testament, providing tons of new material to pastors who are looking to deepen their engagement with the scriptures and the context in which they were written.
Got a pastor with young children? what about your youth pastor or sunday school teacher? Of course they deserve a great Christmas book too, and it’s hard to beat A Tale of Three Kings for its resonance with all generations. Though this tale that weaves together the stories of David, Saul, and Absalom can certainly be read by Christians of all ages, this provides some great material for teaching children about the New Testament.
Again, there are plenty of roles for pastors in the modern church and children’s ministry shouldn’t be neglected! If you help out in sunday school or have young children in the church, this could be a great way to connect with your youth or children’s pastor on the ways to understand children’s ministry based on scripture.
Are there any books you think are missing from this list? Please comment below with some of your favorite books that you think would be perfect for pastors.
Looking for Church Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Church Management software solutions.