It’s that time again, boys and girls. Time to gather around the warm screen of your laptop and tune in for the turn-of-the-year tradition known as the Connective Tissue Year End Review. What? You didn’t know there was such a tradition? You believed that the only year-end tradition we should observe is eating black-eyed peas and hog jowl on New Year’s Eve?

What?!? You didn’t know there was such a tradition as eating hog jowl and cannibalizing Fergie and will.i.am? And you also didn’t know that I’m just cool enough to toss in that pop culture reference? Well boo-yah. And boom boom pow, to boot. Perhaps you’d be more well-rounded like me if you’d read these books…the ten best I read this year, in no particular order…

  • What is a Healthy Church Member? Thabiti Anyabwile. Thabiti tackles the pew-dwelling phenomenon known as American Churchgoer, discussing ten characteristics that should mark the body of Christ.
  • The Beautiful Fight, Gary Thomas. In his usual, highly-readable style, Thomas walks us through the journey to holiness, reminding us that holiness in the life of a believer is active, not passive. (I reviewed it here.)
  • Less Clutter, Less Noise, Kem Meyer. This is a must-read for any communicator, especially communicators within the church. Kem lives what she writes and has traveled this road in her role at Granger Community Church.
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni. Our staff read through this in the spring. If you’ve never read Lencioni’s books, this is a good place to start. All church staffs should read this book.
  • Sticky Teams, Larry Osborne. Larry covers three main teams that every pastor must deal with: the church board (i.e., elders, deacons, etc.), staff, and volunteers. One of the best leadership books I’ve read, period.
  • Influencer, Kerry Patterson et al. This was my surprise book of the year. Patterson and company weave just a few stories through the fabric of the entire book, discussing how you don’t have to be powerful to have powerful influence.
  • Knowing God, J.I. Packer. I confess that I was supposed to have read this a decade ago in seminary. I finally dug it off the bookshelf this year, and I’m glad I did. It’s deeply theological and a catalyst for worship.
  • Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, Paul David Tripp. If you ever find yourself sitting in the counselor’s chair, this book will be a tremendous help. It’s a great reminder that the gospel is enough.
  • The Me I Want to Be, John Ortberg. A friend and I read through this together. If you’re convinced that a Christian must look like [fill in your own formula here], Ortberg will help you break the mold and live your life as God designed you to.
  • Hiroshima, John Hersey. I swiped this one from my high school freshman who had to read it as a summer assignment. Let’s just say that I enjoyed the story of nuclear fallout much more than he did.
  • Whiter Than Snow, Paul David Tripp. I’m on the last few pages of this one now. Tripp’s book is a 52 chapter devotional on Psalm 51. It has been an invaluable companion to Pastor J.D.’s current series, Search for a King.

What did I miss? There are still a couple of days left in 2010. What book did you read this year that you’d suggest?

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