8.02.2019

Books I've Read Recently


In the last year, 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

Have you ever felt like you're not good enough to be called a disciple of Jesus Christ? Jared Wilson reminds us that we are imperfect...and that's...ok. This is one of my favorite books I've read this past year. Wilson says, "Once we discover that grace is oxygen, we can breathe freely. The reality of our true, sinful self doesn't have to define us." 

Dr. Cloud is always great at making us look a little deeper at things and also helps us understand ourselves better. This book digs into the deep issues that often hinder us from having healthy relationships and perspectives. The portion about Adulthood near the end of the book was worth the read for me. Here's a couple quotes that hit home: “Parents are God's representatives of authority in the child's life, so that the child could later be turned over to the direct fatherhood of God and his authority.” – “Any solution short of a relational one is a solution short of love.”


Jesus commissions us to make disciples. Disciple means learner and we're all learning something all the time. We just need to make sure we're learning correctly. Multiply is a tool for intentional discipleship with the heart for the church. I went through this with a couple of guys from my church and I would recommend it. It's not super deep, but it's solid material that will help the beginner and remind all of us of the beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ.



WORSHIP MINISTRY

I was drawn to this book because of the title...SING. Ironically, the concept of congregational singing in corporate worship is not as common as you would think. I fear we've drifted into spectator era, which is a natural response to an attraction, entertainment focused church...which is more and more common. Basically, the church has forgotten to sing together and this book is reminding us to get back to it. This quote stuck with me: "The sight and sound of a congregation singing praise to God together is a radical witness in a culture that rejects God and embraces individualism. Our songs are the public manifesto of what we believe."


This was an easy, quick yet inspiring read and a great reminder to praise. The book was themed around the 7 Hebrew words of praise used in the Psalms. This a great read for worship leaders and it would serve as a tool for worship teams and/or small groups.





GENERAL MINISTRY

I once read somewhere that when the church acts more like a business, then members become customers and other churches become competitors. Unfortunately, you don't have to look far to see this and one of the root problems is the role that pastors have assumed or been pressured to take. Too often we want our pastors to be CEO's or the greatest showmen, instead of caring shepherds that lead the flock. I would definitely say that this book should be on a pastor's radar. It's a good heart check, for sure. Piper says, "It will transform your pastoral leadership in worship if you teach your people that the basic attitude of worship on Sunday morning is not to come with your hands full to give to God but with your hands empty to receive from God. And what your receive in worship is God, not entertainment."

This will definitely step on our toes. We too often have relied on our own power when it comes to church leadership. This is another good heart-check book for church leaders. Here's a quote: "It is not our effort that is the problem, but the source of our action."

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