Recommended Books and Resources
This section cites some of the more recent publications that Gary has been reading and lists books or resources that Gary recommends.
In most cases, if you click on the title you will be taken to Amazon.com where you can purchase the book or other resource.
Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling: A Comprehensive Guide (Nelson: 2007).
This is Gary's basic textbook in Christian counseling, completely revised, re-written, expanded and updated.
Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling Casebook (Nelson, 2007).
This is a book of real cases illustrating the thirty or more specific problem issues discussed in the Christian Counseling book. The Casebook has questions for group study and for personal application. It was written to parallel and supplement the Christian Counseling textbook.
Gary R. Collins, Christian Coaching (NavPress, 2009).
This is among the first and probably the most complete textbook on Christian coaching. The essence of coaching is here in a revised, expanded, and updated edition of the book that first appeared in 2001.
Recently, several of Gary's out of print books have been made available again through NOVOInk.com.
Here is a list of Gary R. Collins books that now are available for purchase and download from NOVO Ink:
Recently I talked with a friend who is living overseas and who is in a stage of life where he has some time to read. He asked me to suggest 10 or 12 books that I would recommend. My friend is young, a committed Christian, an emerging leader, culturally sensitive, planning to enter medical school, but not especially interested in business, counseling or coaching. What follows are suggestions for my friend. These are books that have influenced me recently and that might interest others. In the coming months I will make changes, deleting some books whenever I find others that I like better.
Every week, you can go to one of my blogs, peoplebuilder.wordpress.com, and find out what I am reading. You can even subscribe, so this comes to your email inbox every week. Usually I write my newsletter about what I have been reading - most often about leadership, trends, and people-building.
Robert Benson. The Echo Within: Finding Your True Calling. (Waterbrook Press, 2009). This is easy to read and filled with lots of practical guidance for finding your calling.
Henry and Richard Blackaby. Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda. (B&H Press, 2001). This is an excellent book on leadership that can apply to any Christian.
Wayne Cordeiro. Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion. (Jossey-Bass, 2009). I loved this book and have given a number of copies to others. Probably this is because Cordeiro speaks from experience about burnout and about "running on empty" when the challenges persist but your inner passion and fuel has gone.
Alan Deutschman. Change or Die. (Regan - HarperCollins, 2007). This is a fascinating and very readable book about the process and difficulties of bringing change.
Dave Gibbons. The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church (Zondervan, 2009). The author likes to draw attention to his extensive travels but if you look beyond that, this is a very insightful book about doing church in the twenty-first century. Part of the Leadership Network Innovation Series it is a fresh and challenging portrayal of what churches can be like, making a difference in a contemporary, ever-changing world. In addition to being an effective writer, Gibbons is an engaging and insightful speaker.
Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Difficult.. (Broadway, 2010). I rarely use these words but this is a "must read" book if you are serious about bringing change. The book is highly practical and interesting to read.
David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...And Why it Matters. (Baker, 2007). This is a research based book from the Barna Group. If you have connections with many people under 35 the conclusions of this book will come as no surprise. But the book is a sometimes disturbing picture of what a younger generation (and many of us who are older) think when we really reflect on contemporary churches and Christianity. The book is sobering but positive and filled with hope.
Jimmy Long. The Leadership Jump:Building Partnerships Between Existing and Emerging Christian Leaders. (InterVarsity, 2009). If you keep up with trends in leadership, none of this will surprise you, but Long gives a clear contrast between the top-down "existing" leadership styles that are fading, and the fast emerging leadership that involves teams working in partnerships. According to the cover "not only is the baton being passed to up-and-coming leaders, but the very nature of leadership is being transformed." This book shows how this is happening.
Erwin Raphael McManus. An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God had in Mind. (Group, 2001). This had a profound influence on me when I first read it. Almost as important was another McManus book: Seizing Your Divine Moment: Dare to Live a Life of Adventure (Nelson, 2002).
Reggie McNeal. Practicing Greatness: Seven Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders. (Jossey-Bass, 2006). If you want to be a great leader or even a great Christian, counselor or leadership coach, please read this book. It is required reading for most of my students.
Reggie McNeal. The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church. (Jossey-Bass, 2003). McNeal is an insightful writer who also has written a powerful follow-up book, Practicing Greatness: Seven Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders. This second book is a good guideline for spiritual and leadership growth. I assign it as required reading in one of my classes every year.
Donald Miller. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story. . (Nelson, 2009). Miller can be a little edgy at times but his perspective is refreshingly honest and his writing style can be captivating. With this book he convinced me that I need to take narrative therapies more seriously and need to focus more on helping others write and live out new stories for their lives. Me too!
Mary Pipher. Writing to Change the World (Riverhead Books, 2006). Pipher is a psychologist who does not write from a Christian perspective. This book on writing is practical and well written. Another of her books, In the Middle of Everywhere (Harcourt, 2002) is a fascinating book about how we can relate cross culturally (and learn to relate cross culturally) by connecting with international people in our own communities. This is recommended for anybody who wants to understand and connect cross-culturally and internationally.
Soon-Chan Rah. The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity. This is one of my favorites on this list. Rah is a Korean-American professor at North Park Seminary near Chicago. He is persuasive and passionate in his style but does not come across as angry or condemning. He argues that the evangelical church is growing worldwide but shows how American evangelicalism (including leaders of younger emergent churches) are encapsulated in the individualistic, materialistic, white, western cultural perspectives that already are draining our vitality and effectiveness. Thought- provoking and stimulating.
Garr Reynolds. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. (New Riders, 2008). Please do not be distracted by the word Zen. Reynolds (who lives in Japan) uses this as a synonym for "simple." He shook me into realizing that data dumps with bullet points on power point slides no longer carry much influence (if they ever did). Simple is better. Images communicate more than a bunch of words. I tied this with my new awareness of the power of story and have changed the way I do presentations.
Andy Stanley. Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision (Multnomah, 1999). This is the oldest book on my list but maybe the one that has influenced me the most. If you have any interest in finding and reaching your vision (or a vision for your church or business), read this book. And don't neglect Andy Stanley's insightful and practical book The Next Generation Leader: Five Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future. (Multnomah, 2003). It is old but still very relevant, especially his section on coaching.
Richard Stearns. The Hole in Our Gospel (Nashville, 2009). This is a sobering book, engaging and simulating. The author asks, "What does God expect of us? The answer changed my life and it might just change the world." That is not hype. The book is relevant for anyone who wants to make a difference, move to a higher spiritual level, be a competent leader or grow in all three of these areas. Richard Stearns writes from his experiences as a corporate executive and leader of World Vision U.S., an organization with impact in countries all over the world.