Below is a list of books that God used this year to strengthen my faith, embolden my heart, and challenge my thinking. I commend them to you with a brief description of each. Please post your comments and recommendations if you have read any of them. I read Total Church with a few other guys and loved its main premise that the church is a gospel community on mission with Jesus. Here's one of the quotes worth mentioning. "People need to encounter the church as a network of relationships rather than a meeting you attend or place you enter."
How People Change opened my eyes to see sanctifcation as God's present grace in my life and how he will grow me through all the heat and thorns as I look to Him. In short, change doesn't happen right away; it's a journey.
If you struggle with finding your purpose in this world you will want to read A Journey Worth Taking. The author uses the Creation, Fall, Redemption motif to give a grid for our lives and how we can find out who we are in the context of community.
Running Scared struck a chord with me since I often struggle with anxiety. The one insight, "Worriers are false prophets" was enough for me to meditate on for quite some time. I also appreciated Welch's honesty as one who fights against worry like the rest of us.
Promoting the Gospel is a book that became the theme of our church's vision for evangelism. I actually got to talk with the author, John Dickson, as he spoke at our Pastor's Conference in November. No other book has influenced me more in seeing evangelism as a community project. Go here to the PTG blog.
A Quest for More convicted me big time. I was hit with the truth that I often try to build my own kingdom instead of God's kingdom. I was made to live for something larger than myself.
Though this book targets teenagers, it influenced me in many ways. I was personally challenged to "do hard things" and to challenge young people to do the same. After all, you don't have to wait to do something great for the glory of God.
The Gospel Primer continues to be a source of meditation and motivation to put the gospel as of first importance in my life. I still have yet to find another resource (other than the Bible) that keeps me centered on the main thing.
This is an older book but one that I couldn't put down. I loved reading the story of Elijah and how the author made so many applications to real life.
I know, I know, I'm super-spiritual including the Bible in my top 10 list. But I had to include the ESV Study Bible. We gave it away to our SS (LIFE) teachers this year for Christmas. It truly is a "gift that keeps on giving" all the year round.