Books for Spiritual Growth

The Bible is the #1 book you can use for spiritual growth.  You should have and be working through a Bible Reading Plan.  It's your choice - read through the whole Bible in a year or just through the New Testament.  Read a chapter per day Monday-Friday in the New Testament and you'll finish in a year.   If you use an app like the YouVersion Bible, there are built in reading plans.  Use one of those to help you.

Also, I suggest you read one other book per month which will help you grow spiritually or better equip you for serving the Lord.  The list below will give you a place to start.   This list is in no order of importance, and each book suggested is done so from personal experience. 

Come back monthly because the list will grow.

If you've got a book you'd like to suggest for this list, send me the name and/or link and I'll check it out.


Flickering Lamps

The majority of churches in North America today are either plateaued or in decline. Christian values are under siege. Many have concluded that the future of the Church is bleak. But what would happen if Christ came and knocked on the door of your church? Would anything change? Would there be renewed hope? Join the Blackabys as they examine what happened when Christ took control of a little church that was about to die.

Where Do We Go from Here?: Strategic Planning for the Smaller Church

For decades, my friend Leo Endel has been helping churches to plan well. Now, through Where Do We Go from Here? you can benefit from his years of wisdom and experience! Walk through this book with your team, and you and your church will be better for it! -Ed Stetzer, Wheaton College

Does your church know where it needs to be a few years down the road? Does it have a plan to get there? Is it headed in the right direction? Most would have to answer “no” to at least one of those questions, if not all three.

In his brief (66-page) book, “Where Do We Go from Here?” Leo Endel draws from his decades of experience as a pastor and denominational leader to offer a simple yet comprehensive guide for strategic planning in the smaller church. These are not theories waiting to be tested, but a proven plan that can be used by any church willing to seek God’s best for their congregation and community. –David Williams, Associational Missions Strategist, Trinity River Baptist Association, Liberty, Texas

I found “Where Do We Go from Here?” to be both timely and timeless. Once I read it, I immediately recommended it to one of our pastors. It is timeless because it is principle and process based. Its value is enhanced because it has been tried and tested in multiple contexts. Too much is published today that is theoretical, unproven, or reflective of a single church’s experience. And because it lays out a simple template for strategic planning it can be easily transferred into almost any church setting. –Mark Elliott, Director of Missions, Heartland Baptist Network, Omaha, Nebraska

For 37 years of pastoral experience I have tried many strategies to do the work of the church. Only to find myself overworked and understaffed. In his book, Where Do We Go from Here? Brother Leo gives us a simple yet comprehensive strategic plan for both small or large church. Where do we go from here! It is a question that every pastor or leader has had to ponder over in their heart. Leo writes out of the heart and experiences of a seasoned pastor and godly leader. He writes, “The real power of the church is God releasing his presence, his power and his plan in US for that to happen we must pray.” I prayerfully recommend this comprehensive guide for strategic planning for any church. Roy Hopgood Jr. Mount Horeb Baptist Church Milwaukee, Wisconsin Senior pastor.

I just finished reading, Where Do We Go from Here? It is terrific, inspirational, personal, and practical. I hope hundreds of pastors and churches read it and use it! Dr. Bill Tinsley, retired denominational leader, church planter, author of nine books and of Reflections, a weekly faith column with over 145,000 views worldwide.

Kingdom Principles for Church Growth

Kingdom Principles for Church Growth is built on the premise that growth is born and nourished through a process ordained by God. Author Gene Mims identifies the biblical principles that prevent an over-emphasis on church growth methods and demonstrates what propelled first-century Christians to turn the world upside down for Christ. Building on the mandate of the Great Commission, Mims uses the "1-5-4 Principle" to facilitate learning of the kingdom process for church growth. He also introduces the "M.A.P."-Model and Process-a visual model and diagnostic tool that can help your church more effectively reach people for Christ, mature them as disciples, and involve them in ministry and service. The practical application of the biblical principles and process for church growth make this a powerful, must-have resource for all church leaders.

The Kingdom Focused Church: A Compelling Image of an Achievable Future for Your Church

The Kingdom-Focused Church will give you everything you need to achieve your church's full potential—and relief from the smorgasbord approach that distracts you from the unique focus, nature, and mission of the church God has saved for you. You'll discover that success doesn't come from copying someone else's ideas or methods, but from knowing the biblical model of a church and understanding how to conform your church—regardless of size, location, resources, history, or any other variable—to that biblical pattern. Your answer is in knowing the biblical model of a church and understanding where you are, which direction you need to head, and how to fix things as they break down along the way.In Mims' warm, engaging style, he encourages you to discover for yourself why a Kingdom focus will work when all else fails.

The Jesus Life: Eight Ways to Recover Authentic Christianity

Lost? Explore the way to life!

We've lost the way that leads to life. With competing priorities and rival demands, we're more confused than ever in how to live the life Jesus offers. Is it the church way, the American way, or the busy way? With so many ways facing us, we're more paralyzed than alive; more perplexed than sure; more bewildered than confident. The Jesus Life offers eight compelling ways to help us rediscover what it really means to follow Jesus in the 21st century.

The Signature of Jesus

The Signature of Jesus challenges the gospel of "cheap grace" and calls the church to radical discipleship. With passion and boldness, author Brennan Manning invites readers to risk living life as Jesus lived—committed to simplicity, purity of heart, and obedience to the gospel.

As a radical alternative, this book is offered to Christians who want to live by faith and not by mere “religion,” for those who recognize that many of the burning theological issues in the church today are neither burning nor theological; who see Christianity neither as a moral code or a belief system but as a love affair; who have not forgotten that they are followers of a crucified Christ; who know that following him means living dangerously; who want to live the gospel without compromise; who have no greater desire than to have his signature written on the pages of their lives.

“Behold,” Jesus proclaims, “I stand at the door and knock.”

You may have already met him at the door…but do you truly know him? Have you been transformed by His furious, passionate, unexplainable love?

Spiritual Warfare

Christians already have victory over the world through Jesus, but Satan picks a fight with believers nonetheless, tempting them with the influences of the world in an effort to steal God’s glory. Indeed, the battle rages on , but the nature of the enemy is baldly exposed in Spiritual Warfare, helping readers better understand feelings of resentment, anger, doubt, pride, and adversity for what they really are: fiery darts of deception.

 

Written by former International Mission Board president Jerry Rankin, who has witnessed spiritual warfare at work around the world, the book in turn becomes an inspiring guide to the Spirit-filled life, illuminating spiritual disciplines that equip us for victory including prayer, Bible study, fasting, Sabbath observance, active church membership, and praising God in all things.

The Master Plan of Evangelism

By Robert Coleman, this has been a standard in Christian life for several decades.  It's focus will help you become the disciple Jesus called you to be.

The Heart of the Gospel: The Theology behind the Master Plan of Evangelism

For more than forty years, Robert E. Coleman's bestselling The Master Plan of Evangelism has been the standard in evangelism literature. But what is the theology behind evangelism? And why is it important for Christians to understand? The Heart of the Gospel offers a systematic theology of evangelism that will ground and inform our practice of spreading the Good News.
 

Leaders Who Last

If the Christian life is like a race, we must admit that too many Christian leaders stumble, burn out, or veer off the track. Clearly it is not automatic that a leader will finish well.

Based on Dave Kraft's thirty-five years of leading, teaching leadership, and coaching dozens of Christian leaders, Leaders Who Last moves through three stages of leadership: foundations, formation, and fruitfulness. Concise, anecdotal, and packed with wisdom, this book will help you aim your ambitions, refine your character, and position yourself to be an effective leader who endures.

Kraft's brief, down-to-earth guide to Christian leadership will inspire readers to finish the race well-to hit the tape in full stride with an energetic burst of speed and receive their commendation from God.

An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest

Following the framework of Jesus' earthly life, Fadling shows how the work of "unhurrying" ourselves is central to our spiritual development in such pivotal areas as resisting temptation, caring for others, praying and making disciples.
Here is a book that affirms that we are called to work and to do work. Productivity is not a sin―it is the attitudes behind our work that can be our undoing. So how do we find balance between our sense of calling and the call to rest? An Unhurried Life offers a way.

The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth

As the first book in a series of five on the Christian life, The Green Letters emphasizes both the doctrinal and experiential aspects of maturing in Christian living.

The book is grounded in Scripture and enlivened by quotations from noted authors. "Not I, but Christ" is its theme. The author makes this arresting statement regarding the dynamics of the Christian life: "God . . . doesn't intend to help us live the Christian life. Immaturity considers the Lord Jesus a Helper. Maturity knows Him to be life itself."

Perhaps the greatest drama in the world is the slow and subtle growth of character in the Christian. Beauty of character can be developed only through years of reflection and experience in the Word of God as the life of Christ is increasingly lived by faith. The Christian life is a healthy, robust kind of life. It advances also through trials, for in one who has faith even suffering is not wasted, but becomes a means for increasing spiritual vigor and strength.

Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness

What makes a great man great?

In Seven Men, New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas explores that most important of questions through the captivating stories of some of the greatest men who have ever lived. How did George Washington resist the temptation to become the first king of America, and why did William Wilberforce give up the chance to be prime minister of England? What made Eric Liddell cast aside an almost certain Olympic gold medal? What enabled Jackie Robinson to surrender his right to fight back against racists, or Dietrich Bonhoeffer to jeopardize his freedom and safety to defy the Nazis? In this stirring and inspiring work, Eric Metaxas reclaims a long-lost sense of the heroic--the idea that certain lives are worthy of emulation. Get to know the seven men in this book, and your life will be immeasurably richer.

Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness

Each of the world-changing figures who stride across these pages—Joan of Arc, Susanna Wesley, Hannah More, Maria Skobtsova, Corrie ten Boom, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks—is an exemplary model of true womanhood. Teenaged Joan of Arc followed God’s call and liberated her country, dying a heroic martyr’s death. Susanna Wesley had nineteen children and gave the world its most significant evangelist and its greatest hymn-writer, her sons John and Charles. Corrie ten Boom, arrested for hiding Dutch Jews from the Nazis, survived the horrors of a concentration camp to astonish the world by forgiving her tormentors. And Rosa Parks’ deep sense of justice and unshakeable dignity and faith helped launch the twentieth-century’s greatest social movement.

Writing in his trademark conversational and engaging style, Eric Metaxas reveals how the other extraordinary women in this book achieved their greatness, inspiring readers to lives shaped by the truth of the gospel.

Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission

HOW DOES THE CHURCH REACH THE UNCHURCHED?

We live in an increasingly post-Christian culture. More and more we find ourselves on the margins as less and less people have any intention of ever attending church. What used to work doesn’t work anymore and we need to adapt.

Helping us to see the way forward, this book offers practical ideas and personal stories for engaging with Western society. Find out how to effectively reach people in the context of everyday life and take hold of the opportunity to develop missional communities focused on Jesus.

Worldview: Implications for Missionary Work

Worldview: Implications for Missionary Work guides readers through the understanding of the meaning and functions of worldview among the peoples of the world. After an investigation of the animistic, syncreticist, monotheistic, and postmodern worldviews, the book suggests ways of witnessing and ministering to those who hold these various beliefs.

Think Biblically! Recovering a Christian Worldview

What we think shapes who we are. That's why the Bible tells us, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2a). In a world of differing voices competing for our allegiance, we must learn to "think biblically" so we can distinguish good from evil. God is the Creator of this world; his voice-his Word-must guide our thoughts and our lives.

With the Bible in their hands, John MacArthur and other scholars and teachers from the Master's College confront the false worldviews that dominate our postmodern world. The authors provide models for cultivating a biblical mind-set on worship, psychology, gender, science, education, history, government, economics, and literature. This book will help anyone who is striving to think biblically in today's culture.

The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage

Spring, summer, winter, fall. Marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another—perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently. Sometimes we find ourselves in winter—discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied; other times, we experience springtime with its openness, hope, and anticipation. On other occasions, we bask in the warmth of summer—comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life. And then comes fall with its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension. The cycle repeats itself many times throughout the life of a marriage, just as the seasons repeat themselves in nature.

The seasons of marriage come and go. Each one holds the potential for emotional health and happiness, and each one has its challenges. The purpose of this book is to describe these recurring seasons of marriage, help you and your spouse identify which season your marriage is in, and show you how to enhance your marriage in all four seasons.

Divine Design: God's Complementary Roles for Men and Women

Divine Design calls us back to God's original intent for men and women. Clearing away the cultural noise and misconceptions, author John MacArthur tackles big issues such as authority in marriage, mothers in the home, and God's view of equality, all while exploring the innate differences between men and women. Throughout, Divine Design provides an indispensable guide for understanding your mate, and shares how embracing your unique design can foster security, blance, and love in a marriage and family.

Hopeful Parenting: Encouragement for Raising Kids Who Love God

Parenting is far from easy. From first steps to first dates, parenthood is filled with unique challenges. Yet there is no greater joy than nurturing one of God's most precious gifts. New York Times best-selling author David Jeremiah presents a heartwarming look at adventures in parenting. Drawing from his own rich journey through fatherhood, Pastor David Jeremiah shares wit and wisdom on raising children in an unpredictable world. Each insightful chapter features timeless truths from God's Word, offering encouragement for the road ahead.

Be refreshed. Be challenged. Be inspired to build a rich and deep legacy of faith for your family.

Movements That Change the World: Five Keys to Spreading the Gospel

When Jesus commissioned his followers, he was not just inaugurating the historical church, he was founding a missionary movement.  Steve Addison's Movements That Change the World draws from biblical, historical and contemporary case studies to isolate the essential elements of a dynamic missionary movement.


Throughout the ages Jesus' followers have been called to continue his movement in the power of the Holy Spirit. Like many such movements, it changed the world. Unlike most movements, which have their historical moment and then fade away, Christianity is actively, continually changing the world for the better.

Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches

What is there about a dying church that brings glory to God? Mark Clifton's convicting answer is "Nothing."

Because a local church is intended to represent the work of God in a community, when that church "loses it saltiness," not only is God's work pictured as irrelevant in that community, but also dishonor and disrepute may well become associated with God's name as a result.

In Reclaiming Glory, Clifton draws not only upon his own burden for revitalizing dying churches but also upon years of church replanting experience to offer passionate counsel for how to breathe new life into a dying church . . . all for the glory of the God who is building his church upon the immovable rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Practical Tools for Reinventing the Dying Church

Practical Tools for Reinventing the Dying Church is crammed full of sage advice for reinventing the dying church! Tom Cheyney, Founder & Directional Leader of the Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference and the Executive Editor of the Church Revitalizer magazine has gathered eighteen of the countries most experienced church revitalizers to join him in the assembling of this book. The time for revitalization and renewal is now. Sick and declining churches are all across America and within every denomination. The rank and file of our churches appears powerless to assemble the strength that is needed to get the church growing again. The need for training today’s minister with the tools and skill sets necessary to combat this rampant plateau and decline is crucial. It is time for a new challenge toward revitalization and there is a great need of an army of Church Revitalizers to work toward revitalizing our churches in North America. Learn from these practitioner’s skill sets and methodologies, which will help you, reinvent your dying church.

Making Vision Stick

A vision. You as a leader may have it, but has your organization caught it? If a leader's vision is all about what could be and what should be, why are you buried under what is? Noted author and pastor Andy Stanley points out that if followers don't get the vision, it's because the leaders haven't delivered it.

He reveals the three reasons vision doesn't stick. And then he delivers three ways to make vision stick, to make you a leader worth following:

1.Cast vision strategically: defining your vision.

2.Celebrate vision systematically: regularly rejoicing in the successes

3.Live your vision continuously: putting your vision into practice in your own life.

With Making Vision Stick, you'll learn how to propel you and your organization forward on the vision God has granted you.

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