5 Pastors Share: The Resources That Shaped Me

Bobby Gruenewald: “I asked some strong leaders for recommendations about the ways they find insight and inspiration.”

What have you read, watched or listened to in the last year that inspired you? Sam Chand’s book, Leadership Pain, inspired and challenged me.

How do you continue to introduce yourself to new perspectives? Networking with pastors and business leaders. Reading books. Listening to podcasts and videos.

What’s your favorite unconventional source of leadership inspiration? A man in my life who has pastored small churches for many years. He currently pastors a church of 80 people. His faithfulness to God, his calling and to his family for so many years has taught me so much.

What book do you wish you would have read long before you actually did? The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber.

Craig Groeschel
Senior Pastor, Life.Church in Edmond, Oklahoma

What resource changed how you lead? My favorite books over the years include: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber, Good to Great by Jim Collins and The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni.

What have you read, watched or listened to in the last year that inspired you? My favorite two books in the last year were: Taking People With You by David Novak and Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

How do you continue to introduce yourself to new perspectives? I try to read outside my comfort zone. Honestly, I need to do more of it than I did last year.

What’s your favorite unconventional source of leadership inspiration? I like to ask questions whenever I’m shopping or at a restaurant. Managers and employees are often very willing to talk; especially in smaller, family owned businesses. I always like to pick their brains as to what is working and what is not. I can learn quite a bit in those short conversations.

What book do you wish you had read long before you actually did? I wish that Ichak Adizes’ book, Managing Corporate Lifecycles—Volume 2, had been available a decade ago.

David Crank
Pastor, Faith Church in St. Louis, Missouri

What resource changed how you lead? The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Until I read this book, I did not properly know how to deal with each staff member as an individual. It allowed me to discover what people on my team actually needed from me. Prior to this information I assumed that everyone needed what I needed.

What have you read, watched or listened to in the last year that inspired you? Dream it! Do it! by Marty Sklar. He walked side-by-side with Walt Disney as they built their great organization. I like to read secular books and see how I can overlay corporate mindsets and visionary tactics to Faith Church.

How do you continue to introduce yourself to new perspectives? I’m always online checking out what is happening in our world to keep myself as relevant as possible. And through our television ministry in Palm Beach and St. Louis, I’ve been able to integrate into many secular business settings, and this has allowed me to see from a different perspective. Growing up in church you naturally assume that people understand Christianese. Hanging out with people who are not from the church world allows me on stage to make sure that I’m answering the questions people are really asking.

What’s your favorite unconventional source of leadership inspiration? I love cruising around YouTube watching cats like Anthony Robbins and other motivational speakers. Even if they’re cussing like madmen, it makes me a better communicator. I also love laughing as I watch secular comedians on YouTube before I preach. I get a little more relaxed and seem like a normal person instead of a “preacher.”

What book do you wish you had read long before you actually did? The Transition Plan by Bob Russell. Pretty phenomenal book on successfully leading change and a church.

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Bobby Gruenewald is pastor, innovation leader at Life.Church. Connect with him on Twitter: @BobbyGwald