Every couple of years, I offer a summer reading list. This year, I polled CFM ND’s and my Student LINC and Coaching Center coaches for recommendations.
The list I compiled this year is not comprehensive. But it offers some tried and true selections as well as some current best sellers. If the one suggesting the book commented on it, I included it.
I hope this helps to expand our minds and broaden our understanding as we are sitting by the pool this summer.
- With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. By Skye Jethani. Unpacks how we relate to God and how we can just abide.
- Just Say the Word. By Sam Ingrassia. Inspired him to pray through a Bible passage daily with his wife. She said it has caused her to feel incredibly close spiritually which has been a stabilizing force even through some trying times:
- The God Who Hears. By Bingham Hunter. Answers a lot of hard questions that stunt our prayer life, and dampen our interest. Soundly rooted in the word, he does not over-reach for what can be known. Great insights. Helpful, motivating.
- Spiritual Leadership. By Oswald Sanders. A classic on the character and skills required to be a godly and effective spiritual leader.
- Knowing Scripture. RC Sproul. A brief, and readable primer on the basics of Biblical interpretation. (hermeneutics) This one cuts through a lot of fog, and identifies many common mistakes people make when reading the Bible.
- Desiring God. By John Piper. A classic contribution to the modern Christian world. This is probably the only book you’ll need to read by John Piper, and it’s a gem.
- The Life You’ve Always Wanted. By John Ortberg. An explanation of the purpose of spiritual disciplines (an accessible version of Willard’s The Spirit of the Disciplines).
- The Handbook of Spiritual Discplines. By Adele Calhoun. A great reference for dozens of spiritual disciplines, with a quick, 2-page explanation behind each discipline and how to practice it.
- A Praying Life. By Paul Miller. Compelling stories of how God has been active in his family, ministry, and relationships as he has prayed; practical tips on how to become more consistent in prayer.
- Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus. By John Eldredge. One of the best books ever read.
- Pure Grace. By Clark Whitten. A great book on God’s grace, not living by works.
- Not a Fan. By Kyle Idleman. On giving God full control of your life and living a spirit-filled life. A must read.
- Changes That Heal. By Henry Cloud. A major step toward emotional maturity. Incredibly applicable, and a key step toward the character needed in your ministry and Christian walk.
- Integrity. By Henry Cloud.
- Real Life. By Dr. Phil.
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. By Peter Scazzero. Helps us pay attention to our emotions and offers practices to grow in areas tipped off by our emotions.
- Counterfeit Gods. By Tim Keller. A look at the false gods of sex, money and power and the true God of the gospel.
- Finding Common Ground. By Tim Downs. Excellent insights on how to connect with people in sharing our faith. Takes a lot of the weirdness out of the evangelism experience.
- Don’t Waste Your Life. By John Piper.
- Just Do Something. By Kevin DeYoung. A freeing explanation of making decisions according to God’s will.
- Good to Great in God’s Eyes. By Chip Ingram.
- Living on the Edge. By Chip Ingram.
- Love Your God with All Your Mind. By J.P. Moreland. How we lost the life of the mind, how to recover it and its role in the Christian life (evangelism, apologetics, worship and vocation…good 100% sent book).
- How Now Shall We Live. By the late Chuck Colson. Perhaps the best book on developing a Christian Worldview. It’s a bit of a “tome,” length-wise, BUT it’s very readable and very engaging, and very relevant.
- Mere Christianity. By C.S. Lewis. A classic! Every Christian ought to read. Lewis has a style that takes a few pages getting used to, but it’s well worth the effort. His insights are brilliant, and ahead of his time.
- More Than a Carpenter. By Josh McDowell. Still the most basic primer on apologetics. Josh McDowell does not write like a scholar, but his points here are concise, compelling, and useful every day.
- The Reason for God. By Tim Keller.
Just for the fun of it, here is the reading list I compiled two years ago.
Finally, just in case you’re curious, here are the books that I enjoyed reading this year. Not everything I read made this list.
- About My Father’s Business. By Regi Campbell.
- The Monuments Men. By Robert Edsel.
- Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ. By Lew Wallace.
- The Furious Longing of God. By Brennan Manning.
- A Higher Call. By Adam Makos.
- The History of The Peloponnesian War. By Thucydides.
- Absolute Relativism. By Chris Stefanick.
- God is in the Manger. By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
- The Road. By Cormac McCarthy.
- The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer. By Jonathan McKee and Thomas McKee.
- Death Comes for the Archbishop. By Willa Cather.
- American Chronicle. By Ray Stannard Baker.
- The First Battle of Bull Run. By General P.G.T. Beauregard.
- Return of the Native. By Thomas Hardy.
- Caesar’s Gallic Wars. By Julius Caesar.
I’ve been intentional about reading classic literature and history over the last several years. I enjoy the enduring values and characters with noble purposes.
This is my last tip of the year. I hope they’ve been helpful. Please join me again in August as we begin again with another year of Coaching Tips.