American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware

2019 Letter From ABCOPAD
LLC Coordinator Rev. Robert Rice

Current List of Fall 2019 Books


Rev. Robert RiceHello Everyone:
  In just a few short weeks, I’ll be sending my two daughters to high-school and my two sons to elementary school, and once again peace and quiet will reign in my home :) There are many preparations to make for this transition, including the obligatory back to school shopping for essentials such as notebooks, pencils and bookbags. Fortunately for us, back to school shopping is not simply a shot in the dark. Each year, we receive a checklist from the school of items each of our children will need for the year. As we use the checklist provided from the school (and sometimes wonder about the amount of glue sticks that one child can use), it’s clear that every item on that list serves some sort of purpose. While my kids won’t use all the items at once, they are all a needed part of the journey towards learning and growth that the school hopes to accomplish by the end of the year.
  I consider our LLC ministry to be a little bit like going back to school. Much like students who hope to learn and grow through the year, it is our goal that as we participate in LLCs we too will learn and grow. We want to grow in our personal relationship with the LORD, we want to deepen our relationships with colleagues in ministry and we want to grow in our ministry and leadership skills. We can’t accomplish all the purposes at once, and sometimes we find ourselves led by God to work on certain areas more than others, but in order to accomplish any of these things, we need tools.
  With this idea in mind, let me provide a list of some various book recommendations for your LLC to use for the beginning of our 2019-2020 season of LLC ministry. You will find that there are three options for September/October and also three options for November/December under a few different topics. Let me outline the different topics and what our hope will be if you select a book from this topic.
  Spiritual Development books are designed to focus the pastor as a person, and to challenge you to think about your own walk with God. These books will help you to go beyond using the Scripture as your manual for pastoring, but will help you see how God desires to speak to your own heart. You’ll notice in November/December we’ve offered two books under this category. This speaks to the idea that November/December can be busy seasons of pastoral ministry, and a needed time for us to focus on our own walk with God, and simply being together as a group.
  Leadership Skills books are designed to focus on developing the skills we need to lead the churches we have been called to lead. Rather than focus on ministry issues, they focus on how we can improve and be challenged as leaders of the church.
  Ministry Specific books center around the ministry of the church, and how we as leaders can work with our congregations to be the church that God is calling us to be. Some of the books recommended in this area will be challenging and technical books, related to specific ministry practices and changes that we may choose to adapt, while others will be broader books that speak of the church in ministry as a whole. Books that fit this description will most likely be heavier reads than some books from other categories.
  Status Quo Disrupter books are books which are meant to shake us up and challenge our thinking about ministry and our role as pastors. The two books in this category are not books that can be skimmed over and taken lightly, but demand you to consider what changes you might make in life and ministry.

Before presenting the lists, I’ll close with this final thought. While we have sought to categorize books to help you decide what area you might like to focus on, there will certainly be some overlap in categories. For example, a ministry specific book will likely include some discussion of leadership skills.

Here are the books we’ve selected for you to consider in September/October

  • Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro (Leadership Skills)
  • Rut, Rot or Revival by A.W. Tozer (Status Quo Disrupter)
  • No Silver Bullets by Daniel Im (Ministry Specific)

Here are the books we’ve selected for you to consider in November/December

  •  The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen (Leadership Skills)
  • Soul Keeping by John Ortberg (Spiritual Development)
  • Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals & Groups, edited by
    Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith (Spiritual Development)

Current List of Fall 2019 Books

In Christ, Pastor Rob Rice (ABCOPAD Regional Ministry Associate for LLC Ministries.