I was asked the question, if you could provide a library of five books for African pastors, what books would you put in it? Here are my thoughts.......though more than five! I have a Study Bible, a one volume commentary, three books on Jesus and his ministry, including leadership and discipling, two books summarizing Christian doctrine, and two on Bible in overview. Plus a bunch of practical books as well.
Some Practical books for additional consideration
Despite the added cost and weight - Hardbacks are probably better - they would be more durable. Perhaps it would help to "beef up" the binding on paperbacks the way libraries often do with clear plastic contact paper. Books chosen should be written fairly simply - with a limited use of original languages - High School reading Level ideal. They also should not too culturally fixed in our Western culture and concerns.
Your feedback and suggestions are certainly welcome!
Ponderings: Do we aim for reference books that will see use for a long time, or books that will be gone through a couple of times, then hopefully passed on to other pastors? Rather than making every five book library the same - possibly if taking several libraries along, one could vary the fifth book in each set with one of the practical books in the "practical" list below. Then encourage the pastors to share and swap them around.
I have lots more books grouped by missions subject on my Missionary Reading List