Book Reviews: 5 Books Worth Reading

Lately, the Lord has me reading A LOT of books and here are five of them I want to highlight. We’ve passed a few of these books among our Staff and have had great discussions as staff member contributes to what they are learning.

Leaders are readers, and we need to be consistently growing. So if you’re not reading, I strongly urge you to do so.

Here’s what I’ve read lately and a brief review of each.

The Bait of Satan – John Bevere


Without question, offenses and how to biblical respond to them, is one the leading problems in the church.

I read this book some 20 years ago but picked it up again. The book is just as life- changing today as it was 20 years ago. The great thing about the new 20th Anniversary Edition is that John Bevere has added a list of Declarations at the end of each chapter. These Declarations are bullet points of the chapter that you can pray, declare over yourself and partner with for your life journey. The book also ends with a 30 day Devotional.

Our Staff just finished reading this book, and we have taken time in our Staff meetings to talk about the book. If you have not read “The Bait of Satan,” buy it, read it and apply the principles.

I’ll be launching a message series on how to biblically respond to offenses this year; I pray it will be life-changing for you as it has been for me.

Score: 10

Tale of Three Kings – Gene Edwards


I first read this book back in Bible College but felt moved to pick it up and read it again. After reading it again, I decided to put it on my “yearly reading list.”, it’s that good.

Edwards tells the story of three biblical kings (Saul, David and Absalom), and their experience with pain, loss, and heartache. No other book so poetically deals with brokenness and how to respond rightly to those who have attacked and betrayed you.

Every leader needs to read “A Tale of Three Kings.” All of us on Staff are currently reading and discussing the book.

If you have not read it, do it. If the book is stored away in your archives somewhere, dig it out, open it up and read it again, it will be worth your while.

Score: 10

Leading On Empty – Pastor Wayne Cordeiro


How do you keep going in you’re calling when your tank is empty? How do you renew your passion when you feel you have none? How do you keep giving out when you are wearing out?

This book is about a Senior Pastors experience facing fatigue and burnout while doing his best to serve God fully, love his family genuinely and lead the church faithfully.

I’ve always been a big fan of borrowing someone else’s experience. For instance, if someone has traveled down a path that I am currently walking on, I want to extract what the person has learned to help me on my journey.

If you are in ministry and feel that it is taking everything just to breathe, then I would highly recommend this book written by a Pastor who has walked through it.

Score: 9

Amplified Leadership – Pastor Dan Reiland


Dan’s experience in coaching Pastors and leaders spans decades. This is a practical book (which I like) to help church leadership build great people.

Amplified Leadership provides an intentional development process that starts with relationships and ends with empowered leaders who are ready to make a Kingdom impact in the church and the seven mountains of society.

A great tool for building leadership teams. Dan provides great ideas on how to implement what is being taught.

Score: 8


Not Your Parents Offering Plate – Clif Christopher

Not your parents offering plate

Someone told me about this book a few weeks ago, and I knew I had to read it.

The writer of the book is a former Pastor who now works helping nonprofits fund their organizations including many churches.

What intrigued me about the book were the distinctions made about how the church and other nonprofits compare with one another and what we can learn from other nonprofits when it comes down to stewardship.

The book gives terrific insight for church leaders and Staff how other nonprofits gain financial support for their causes.

Score: 8

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  1. Jeanne Aug 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Greg! I always enjoy reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing!
    I’m reading: Daily: “Declaring God’s Word” by Derek Prince, I’m on my thrird year and love it, “Streams in the Desert” by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, I love the weathered and deep thoughts and its full of poetry, “Your Father Loves You” by James Packer. He offers insights I would have never considered. I’m reading regularly: “Intercessory Prayer” by Dutch Sheets; truly remarkable and challenging God given revelatory insights. I’m reading intermittently: “Notes to Self” by Joe Thorn, he preaches to himself and we get to read it, an idea I love. And On deck: “How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home” by Derek Thomas. I heard him at a conference and love his deep love for the Lord and how knowledgeable yet poetic of a speaker he is.

    1. Greg Simas Aug 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Hi Jeanne. This is quite a lineup. I do recognize a few of the titles. I’ve read Dutch’s book on “Intercessory Prayer” years ago and of course “Streams in the Desert” is a classic. The other one’s I’ll need to look up and check out. Thanks for sharing these resources. I’m sure others will benefit too from the titles and authors you’ve shared. Blessings.

    2. Ogakwu Malachi Onailo Aug 2, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Greg, You’re welcome on board, may His grace be sufficient for you to carry on the work He has entrusted so that lives may be affected positively

  2. Julie Aug 1, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Bait of Satan and Tale of Three Kings are on my yearly reading list, too.

    Recently read “Contagious Disciplemaking” by David Watson and Paul Watson. It is such a practical and inspiring book that lays down Biblical principles and values for making disciples who reach the lost and make disciples. We are seeking to implement these principles in our work among youth and praying that it will result in thousands of new creations in Christ.

    I’m working through Malcom Webber’s “Spiritbuilt Leadership” series and finding it quite practical in leadership development.

    I am especially interested to check out the “Leading on Empty” book and the “Not Your Parents Offering Plate” books you mentioned. Sounds like good stuff. Thanks for sharing, Pastor Greg!

    1. Greg Simas Aug 2, 2016 at 6:26 am

      Hi Julie. I checked out “Contagious Disciplemaking.” It appears that it’s ties in discipleship and church planting with a cross-cultural emphasis. Looks interesting. I haven’t had a chance to look into “Spiritbuilt Leadership” yet.

      I think you’ll especially enjoy “Not Your Parents Offering Plate” with regard to what you guys are doing.

      Great to hear from you! Keep going. You are doing a great work!!


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