The Best Books I Read in 2013 – Part 1

Here is my list of the best books I read this past year. In this post I will be sharing 5 books and in part 2 I will be sharing 5 more. (The complete list is in alphabetical order.)

Deep & Wide
by Andy Stanley

The main premise of this book is creating churches that unchurched people love to attend. I found the book challenging is many ways. Having grown up in church it is difficult for me to see our church through the eyes of the typical Las Vegas community member. The first part of the book was especially fascinating as Stanley gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the split between his father’s church (Charles Stanley) and Northpoint Community Church. The rest of the book is a how-to manual on creative thinking in regards to bringing the unchurched into church. (recommend for pastors & church leaders)

Hope for my Hometown
by Dave Teis

Yep, that’s my dad. His life has been comprised of following Jesus, developing a family and planting a pretty amazing church in Las Vegas. The book is extremely autobiographical nature and inspirational for anyone considering a life dedicated to church planting. He candidly shares his struggles, successes and overall passion for reaching his hometown of sin city with God’s message of grace, love and mercy. (recommend for church planters & anyone living in Las Vegas)

by Craig Groeschel

Okay, I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes you just connect with an author and it seems that I do with Groeschel. Perhaps it’s that we have a similar physique. Anyway, the point of the book is trying to identify why some churches, small groups, leaders, companies, missionaries seem to have IT and some don’t. Is it identifiable? Is it naturally attainable? Is it easily lost? I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out. (recommend for pastors, leaders & small group leaders)

by Nelson Searcy

Every year as a staff we read one Nelson Searcy book and attempt to implement his organizational strategies into our church. This year we read his book on developing extravagant givers. He explains that financial giving is not a matter of fleshly mammon but spiritual growth. A growing Christian will be a giving Christian. Searcy attempts to teach his readers the proper way to lead their congregations in the matter of financial stewardship. (recommend for pastors, staff, deacons)

Not A Fan
by Kyle Idleman

I’d heard so much about Idleman’s book that when I finally downloaded a copy I felt a little late to the game. The book was good. I celebrate anyone who is calling for Christians to make a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ. I agree that every Christian ought view Jesus as Lord of their life. I agree that Christ wants followers and not merely fans. However, I was a little concerned those who may have legalistic tendencies might read this book and fall back into the trap of performances based religion. (recommend for all Christians who understand salvation by grace through simple faith)


Part 2 of this blog will post on December 26th

*(Disclaimer: Just because I listed a book does not mean I agree with every thought, paragraph, idea and philosophy taught in that book. Just because I named an author doesn’t mean I support everything done in that man’s life, occupation or ministry. Please don’t feel the need to change our friendship status simply because I happened to like a book that you did not. Smile, read, and remain my friend.)

Which of these books have you read? What was the best book you read in 2013? Please Comment Below:

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  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I read= In the minds of men, by Ian T. Taylor, it is very educational. and None dare call it education by John A. Stormer. now I am reading Myths about Modern Bible Versions by Daved W. Cloud. of course I often half to go back and refresh my self with The Kingdom of the Cults. I am not well liked on the internet because I often jump in the lions den and debate Gods truths to the savage beast. I am also not liked very much by liberal media. No mater how much Love you try to express in Gods truths they will hate you. I often try to expose the political correctness as they fight against Jesus Christ. Because I have a short term memory, I often go back to books I read to keep me refresh and on course.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 23, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Alan, I too have read None dare call it education by John A. Stormer – great book. Kingdom of the Cults is also a very helpful resource.


  • Reply
    December 23, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Top 3 books for me this year, Unglued, Lysa Terkheurst Loving Your Child Too Much, Dr Tim Clinton & Dr Gary Sibcy and Boundaries with Kids, Cloud and Townsend
    Still a top from last year is Love and Respect I still re-read sections.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 23, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Love and Respect is an amazing Marriage book. I’ve heard so much about unglued and I need to read it. I’ll have to check out the other two

      • Reply
        December 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        Unglued is a great book! I have read certain parts of it more than once!

  • Reply
    Edwin Lugo
    December 23, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I read and enjoyed both Hope for My Hometown and Not a Fan.
    Best books I read this year:
    Prodigal God by Tim Keller, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, and Visioneering by Andy Stanley

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Visioneering was great. I read prodigal God last read and really enjoyed it. I haven’t yet read The Secret Thoughts of an unlikely convert – but I’ve heard that it is very good.

  • Reply
    Linda Scott
    December 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I am now reading “Own It “by Michael & Haley DiMarco. My faith has been tested to say the least this past year & a half. My late husband always said in one’s profession “if you do what you l always do, you get what you always got”. This book pretty much states the same verbage but it’s about your faith. You can’t borrow IT you must own IT, allowing God’s love to complete us . This is been a good book for me in my journey.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

      It sounds very good. thanks Linda. I’ll have to check it out.

  • Reply
    Kathy Parks
    December 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Now I’m wishing I’d read something besides The Red Velvet Cupcake Murder. It did have some okay recipes.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      December 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Hilarious! Kathy, that was so funny to read!

    • Reply
      December 27, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Kathy, you are great!

  • Reply
    Josh Cox
    December 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Our staff read “Mistakes Leaders Make” by David Kraft. It was a great read, especially for a group of leaders.

  • Reply
    Joshua Teis
    December 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Looks like a great book. thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply
    December 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Great challenging book, God has a wonderful plan for your Life: The Myth of Modern Message.

  • Reply
    December 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    The book is from Ron Comfort!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    December 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    My parents have Hope for My Hometown and one day I picked it up and started reading it… I couldn’t put it down! Your dad is a great writer. I love how he got his point across in a way that keeps the readers attention. I kept getting goosebumps reading it!

  • Reply
    The Best Books I Read in 2013 – Part 2 | Josh Teis | Lead Pastor Southern Hills Baptist Church
    January 27, 2014 at 10:30 am

    […] The Best Books I Read in 2013 – Part 1 Are you okay with mediocrity? […]

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