The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, had a huge impact when it comes to where we went with the Midtown Prayer Collective. I've read several of Batterson's books. The common element with all of them is that they increase my faith. This one was no exception.
Next up is The 24/7 Prayer Manual, by Pete Greig. This too was very influential in birthing a desire for radical prayer. I think we've just scratched the surface, and I'm excited about where the collective is headed in 2013.
While those first two focused on prayer, these next two have to do with fleshing it out in the real word. First up is Mark Scandrette's Practicing the Way of Jesus. Our micro church went through this book. Each week we would together choose some type of experiment. Some of the ones we did were practicing a time of silence every day for a week, cutting back our spending on essentials for the week, seeking out opportunities for reconciliation, etc.
Along these same lines was 7, by Jenn Hatmaker. Jenn and her family tried a different experiment each month for seven months. Some of these experiments dealt with food, spending, media, and possessions. These types of books are helpful in that they help spark imagination for creatively living out a life of following Jesus.
Finally, three other books I read that were very influential were..
On the topic of discipleship, The Call of Jesus, by Derek Worthington. Derek is a pastor of one of the Trinity Grace parishes in NYC. The ideas in this books have permeated the culture of Trinity Grace. It's a short but excellent read on what discipleship looks like.
On the topic of organizational health, The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni. Patrick spoke at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this year. He spoke on the contents of this book. It was my favorite from the conference, and now our Leadership Team at NC has been reading it together.
And on the topic of church, The Spirit-Filled Church, by Terry Virgo. This book deals with the Holy Spirit's role in starting, growing, and empowering the Church for God's mission.