Clawson, Julie. Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009). Grounded in a theology that defines justice as “the practical outworking of loving God and others,” Everyday Justice helps us understand the ethical implications of our choices. Each chapter offers stories illustrating how we encounter justice issues, explains how our choices affect people around the globe, and examines the things we can do to make a difference.
Cox, Harvey. The Future of Faith (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009). Religion scholar Harvey Cox explores three epochs in Christian history: the Age of Faith (marked by a profound commitment to following Jesus’s example of hope, healing, and compassion); the Age of Belief (marked by adherence to creeds and doctrines about Jesus and the church); and the Age of the Spirit (marked by a focus on the life of the Spirit within and among religious followers).
Ford, Jeffrey and Laurie Ford. The Four Conversations: Daily Communication That Gets Results (San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009). Jeffrey and Laurie Ford explain four types of conversations: initiative (introducing a new idea); understanding (explaining the idea and exploring its meaning); performance (requesting specific actions and results); and closure (summarizing and appreciating completed results). They demonstrate how employing the right type at the right time can result in greater accomplishments and more satisfying relationships.
Hester, Richard L. and Kelli Walker-Jones. Know Your Story and Lead with It: The Power of Narrative in Clergy Leadership (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2009). “Our aim in this book is to show ministers how to explore their story of reality, how to tell it to other group members, and to consider how it can be used as a resource for leadership.” Know Your Story and Lead with It fulfills the authors’ aim by offering an approach that can be used in clergy and other leadership groups.
Livermore, David A. Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009). Ministry leaders often seek out multicultural information and behavioral tips when they want to communicate across cultures. But David Livermore asserts that truly following God’s call to love others as ourselves also requires inner transformation. This book measures the ability to effectively bridge cultural divides and offers specific ways to strengthen cultural intelligence.
McFayden, Kenneth J. Strategic Leadership for a Change: Facing Our Losses, Finding Our Future (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2009). Strategic Leadership for a Change, written by leadership development professor Kenneth McFayden, holds that churches both seek and resist transformational leadership. McFayden’s goal is “to provide congregational leaders with new insights and tools for exercising strategic leadership.” Book chapters, replete with discussion questions, examine key leadership capacities.
Saltzman, Devyani. Shooting Water: A Memoir of Second Chances, Family, and Filmmaking (New York, NY: Newmarket Press, 2009). Photojournalist Devyani Saltzman chronicles the production of a movie about Hindu widows in India, who “atone for their husbands’ deaths by living as ascetics.” She also chronicles her own life, reaching back to her parents’ divorce and the divisions between herself and her Indian mother that arose when she chose to live with her Jewish Canadian father. Discussion questions for reading groups are included.
Simon, Rabbi Charles. Building a Successful Volunteer Culture: Finding Meaning in Service in the Jewish Community (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2009). Drawing on his work as executive director of the Federation of Jewish Men’s Clubs, Rabbi Charles Simon explains the importance of understanding both organizational cultures and motivational incentives if you want to build successful volunteer projects and foster rewarding volunteer experiences.
Wright, Robert. The Evolution of God (New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2009). Robert Wright seeks to reconcile science and faith, as well as to explain how the world’s faith traditions are evolving toward a higher moral plane. For those struggling to understand how God fits into a Darwinian worldview, Wright opens a window through which scientists and people of faith can talk.