Last week I posted 5 of my top 10 books I read in 2014. This is the remaining 5, with links (click the book’s image) to how you can purchase them.
6. Your first two years in youth ministry – Doug Fields
Fields has been appropriately titled as one of the premier minds of student ministry. As a pioneer for student ministry he has released many resources for new and seasoned student pastors.
I purchased this book when I got hired as a student pastor but did’t read it until I was in my second year of student ministry. As I read it I regretted not reading earlier. Giving insight into the inner-working of a student ministry, bringing attention to structuring and levels of importance. What was of utmost importance, to me, in a book filled with wisdom was the fact that no planning, studying, or structuring can make up for loving students and being there for them. That resounding truth must remain a constant thought.
Among other things, Fields mentions how to structure, how to cultivate a encourage a leadership base, how to win the parents, and many other useful nuggets. To the youth, children, or college minister I would encourage this book along with implementing its practices.
7. Sustainable youth ministry – Mark Devries
In an age of consumerism and entertainment the church seems to be mirroring this ideology. Unfortunately, this is not healthy or sustainable. It sets up a paradigm where all ministers (depending on their ministry) seek to be/have what others have, and for some, that is unattainable.
Devries begs the question, “can you continue to do that in ministry?” Be it programs, events, or other we must seek to be consistent and healthy in our ministry plan. Encouraging delegating responsibilities and becoming aware of strengths and weaknesses, and thus speaking out others with complimentary skills to benefit the ministry and glorify God. Check it out!
8. Gospel Centered Teaching – Trevin Wax
When you teach what do you emphasize? I have heard it said that everyone who teaches or preaches has a certain comfort zone topic that they default to. Some may be the prophecies of David, or the walls of Jerusalem being rebuilt under the leadership of Nehemiah. For others their topics are mundane, and secondary information.
In Wax’s book he urges that the Gospel of Jesus be the topic of each and every lesson we teach and sermon we preach. Let it be so. People need to hear the Gospel, and Wax communicates what it looks like to teach in a Gospel-centered manner.
9. The Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller
This summer I got married, and leading up to the ceremony we did marriage counseling. As we did we went through this book as well as through biblical passages which emphasize marriage. Keller typically gives much wisdom in areas of need. This book is no different. Companioned in writing by his wife, the Keller’s maintain the importance of each spouse as it pertains to the marriage, but point them to the cross of Christ for accomplishing these tasks.
In one sermon Keller unwraps the premise of this book in one quote, “one or the other of us will look at the other person in a coffin, and if our savior is in the coffin how will our savior help us when we’re hurting?” Keller points us to Jesus as he points us to our spouse. We must continue to fall in love with Jesus more, which in turn will allow us to love our spouse more.
10. God’s at War – Kyle Idelman
Wrestling deep within the human heart is the fight of our worship. We have atlas three choices; ourselves, others, God. Idelman in this book discusses the topic of Biblical idolatry within the lens of 21st century America, and his findings are disturbing at best.
While reading this, each chapter discussed an idol, or idols that seek to steal worship from whom it’s rightly due; God. Ranging from money, title, honor, kids, spouses, jobs, houses, cars he discusses how these inherently good things can become God things if we allow them to be the object of our praise rather than a catalyst toward our worship of the giver.
This book comes out at a time when idolatry is rarely spoken of other than an abstract finger pointing. Rather than pointing fingers at others this book leaves you looking on the inside and rectifying the idolatry of your own heart as it motivates you to place God on the mantle of your affections.