Thursday, 29 September 2011


“It’s not what a book costs that matters, it is what it will cost you if you don’t read it. A book you don’t read will not help you.”
This quote from Jim Rohn is very instructive as I write this. I’ve never been impressed by the size of any man’s wardrobe, only the size of their library. That established; the fact also remains that a book you do not read will not help you, no matter how well it adorns your ornamental bookshelf.

My top 10 books... deciding on this list is a tough one for me. As much and as far back as I’ve known; I have always been a bibliophile. I love books, straight and simple. Buying and reading a book is one of the joys of my life.

I’ve read quite a few volumes in my little life. So, picking the top ten is quite something. These in my own experience (I sure don’t know about you) are the top ten plus, books that have indelibly shaped my journey through life thus far. So strong is their influence that I can tell you in vivid details the circumstances surrounding my encounter with them. Let’s go!

1     1. The Bible. Top on my list is the Book of books itself. “Of course,” you’d say, “what do you expect from a preacher?” But I’m not being politically correct on this one. This really is the ‘numero uno’ that changed my life and still does. The other ones are in no specific order.

2.     The Man God Uses – Oswald J. Smith. I read this book in 1991. I was still in high school. More than any other material I credit this book with sparking the desire to consecrate myself to God and be a use-able man in His service.

3.     The Power of Positive Thinking – Norman Vincent Peale. This classic will always enjoy a pride of place in my library. I stumbled upon it in my dad’s collection in 1988 but never did read it until 1992 when I was about leaving high school. How my life changed! The book sold me in on the writings of the author for life. I credit the book with helping me at that age cultivate a positive and possibility mindset. And it was timely because the challenges I was yet to face ahead will definitely need a positive thinker to surmount them.

4.     About that same period in 1992 I got on loan from a friend and schoolmate (incidentally, he was the one who loaned me “The Man God Uses”) the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This was the book that changed how I relate with people.

5.     Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church to Grow by C. Peter Wagner helped me understood myself and my part in the body of Christ. Professor Wagner taught me to identify, acknowledge and appreciate the gifts God has given me. In it I learnt to also appreciate others who may have different gifts from mine and value their contributions in the body of Christ.

6.     It was in the University bookstore at Ife that I came across this book, Towards Excellence in Life and Ministry by David Oyedepo in 1993. It became ‘un-put-down-able’ for me. I read and re-read it. In fact, for the next seven (7) years straight, I was reading it twice yearly! Such was the illuminating effect the book had on me. In it I learnt diligence, confidence and commitment.

7.     Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. This in my opinion is a classic. If you’ve read it you’ll agree with me. It is practical, concise and cuts straight to the heart of the matter. When I first read it in 1996 I was so blessed and encouraged that I started recommending it to friends. I’d counsel anyone hoping to make a success of Christian leadership to read this and own a copy.

8.     Signposts on the Road to Success (E W Kenyon). This is the master of all success motivational pieces. Little book, big impact! In the words of the author, “My spirit goes with thee, little book of my dreams, Go waken the slumberer, Go strengthen the weak. Encourage the disheartened; To the lone dreamer speak, yes, Kindle within him a mighty desire, With dauntless ambition, Set his spirit on fire.” That’s what the book did for me and will do to you if you care to read it.

9.    In The Footsteps of A Prophet (Jerry Savelle) My! My! My! This was my baptism into the school of faith proper. Not that I was new to the word of faith but it opened an entirely new vista for me. My life and ministry has never been the same again since. It’s the biographical account (plus much more) of the author’s experience with Kenneth Copeland, the apostle of faith.

10. When God Builds A Church (Bob Russell with Rusty Russell). For me this was very instructional as a church planter and pastor. It reveals the building blocks of a ministry founded upon truth and lasting principles not fads. Selah!

11. The Richest Man in Babylon (George Classon). You see, I’m exceeding ten. I told you, choosing the top ten books would be tough for me. This classic tale taught me how to build wealth. It’s simple and uncomplicated. Unforgettable lessons like “Pay yourself first. A part of all you earn is yours to keep.” Ancient wisdom for modern times – that’s how I describe this book. It’s not just a good book. This is a foundational instruction to wealth building.

12.  Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter. I bless God always for letting me come across this book. It’s not just an eye-opener; I underwent a paradigm shift on reading it. I’ve re-read it many times since and all the other books in the series.

Permit me to make no comments on these next two books or else I’ll be writing you a full-blown synopsis. Such is their impact that I’ve worn out the copies I have. They are such a tremendous blessing.

13. The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (John C. Maxwell)
14. The Purpose-Driven Church (Rick Warren)

15.   Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar. This book further strengthened one of my core life philosophies: I don’t want to shine, I want to last! I sincerely want to finish strong. This book identifies and teaches you to avoid the potholes that can shipwreck life and ministry.

See, let me stop here. I have already exceeded ten and reached fifteen. There are so many other books that also have significantly impacted me: Love and Marriage (Bruce & Carol Britten); Gifted Hands (Ben Carson); The Millionaire Next Door (Tom Stanley & Bill Danko); Public Speaking  (Dale Carnegie); The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey). But let me drop my pen here. Hope I haven’t bored you. There you have mine, what are your own top ten books? I am waiting to hear it. YOU WILL SUCCEED!

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