6.16.2018

What I've Read Recently


The last couple of years I have increased my reading, which always helps my personal growth. I've plowed through several books, so I thought I'd share some highlights and recommendations. I've put them into a few categories.

You can click on the book covers to view on Amazon.



SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Matt Chandler is my favorite go-to podcast preacher. This book was somewhat of an exposition of Philippians with a lot of application. This was a timely read for me as it challenged me to truly center my joy in Christ alone. Chandler says, "Through highs and lows, better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you, when Christ becomes your all." 


An unforgiving heart is destructive to others and to ourself, and we've all dealt with harboring hurt at some point in our lives. Horrobin hammers the idea that forgiveness is the key to freedom. Here's a couple quotes that hit home: “It is impossible to ask God to forgive those who have hurt us without first forgiving them from the heart ourselves.” – “If we choose not to forgive those who have hurt us, we put ourselves under their control.”


This was a super clear and simple explanation about the origin and context of the Bible. If you are brand new to the faith or you would like grow in your knowledge of the scriptures, I would highly recommend this. There were some cool nuggets that I learned. It's one thing to read the Bible, but learning more about the Bible and it's origin will help your understanding of it, which will enlighten your spiritual journey.



WORSHIP MINISTRY

Worship by the Book is a very appropriate title. This is a highly educational read, but also inspirational to me as a worship leader. I definitely grew in my understanding of corporate worship, particularly reformed worship. This quote stuck with me: "When there are a number of worshipers present, there is a participation in worship which is more intense than is the individual passion of any one of them when he is by himself."


I was thrilled to finally dig into this book last year...and when I say "dig"...I mean it. This is a bonafide text book for worship leaders. Eventually, I will dig back into it, because this book will probably need another ready to comprehend more fully. I would easily put this in the "must-read" category for worship leaders. Hicks says, "As a church lover, the worship pastor favors music that encourages participation of the many over performance of the few."


A worship leader needs to constantly grow in his/her understanding of the theology of worship. A couple of years ago, I went to a workshop taught by Mike Cosper. I gleaned a lot from it, so I decided to read his book. This might be one of the best books I've ever read on this topic. It's an extremely well-rounded, big picture of personal and corporate worship. I learned from it and just thoroughly enjoyed my journey through it. Cosper asks, "Are we looking for explosive, instantaneous impact or gradual, steady life change? Is it a concert hall or a banquet?"




GENERAL MINISTRY


The practicality you read in the title is a great description of the book. It definitely tends toward some old school and outdated thinking, but the timeless principles are still found here. I even used it as a tool on one occasion. If you take the timeless principles and contextualize it to your present ministry, it can be a helpful tool.

In a day and age of mega everything, this book steps on the toes of the corporate mentality that is becoming prominent in the American church culture. Certainly a very opinionated perspective, but it resonated with me. Here's a couple of quotes: "If the glory of God is our focus, we would spend more time in prayer and less time studying the latest methodologies." – "The church is not a business; its pastors and leaders are not CEOs. The gospel is not a commodity that can be bought and sold, no matter how you want to package, market, or sell it."

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