Suggested Reading

Everyday Church

Tim Chester & Steve Timmis 2012

I have been reading a bunch of books lately that center around Community Groups (or whatever your church calls them).  This book takes it to a whole new level.  It is not just a book about how to have or do a community group.  It is a book about how you can have community.

Chester and Timmis write this book around the New Testament letter of First Peter and this makes a whole lot of sense.  We are to be the church not just do church.

Who should read this?  If you work for a church, big or small, read it.  If you are interested in taking your church into your community and are looking for more than just a few good ideas.

Another thing I really like about this book is that it doesn’t spend 100 pages convincing you to do what they do.  It is assumed that if you bought this book then you most likely have a strong interest in learning how to take the Gospel into your community.

If you are looking for a very applicable book on Gospel in your community you may want to pick it up.

Chester, Tim, and Steve Timmis. Everyday Church: Gospel Communications On Mission. North American ed. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2012.

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Suggested Reading

Community

Brad House 2011

This book is a great resource for anyone who is starting a community group or currently leads one or currently attends one–so anybody really.  It gives practical ideas alongside practical theology.  This is a rarity in the canon of books on community/discipleship.  Normally books in this genre spend 300 pages convincing you that you should have community groups.  I already know that–give me some ideas.

Brad House gives some excellent explanation of the advantages of using coaches.  He shows you how it has worked at his church and how you can scale it for use in any size church.

The job descriptions in the back are very interesting and something that I will definitely utilize in the future.

House spends a good amount of time explaining how community groups are to be missional and contextual within your neighborhood.  These chapters alone are worth the price of the book.

I have lots of good to say–go buy it and use it.

 

 

 

House, Brad. Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2011.

Suggested Reading

This past weekend on the plane/train ride to North Wales I was able to finish this book.

The Kite Runner

Khaled Hosseine (2003)

This is a fantastic book that tells the story of two young boys who grow up in Afghanistan.  One boy is from a family of great influence and by default has access to a world outside of the Middle East.  The other boy is a servant and has only what is given him by families of affluence.  These two boys are best friends.

The author paints a picture of Afghanistan that is unmistakable and vibrant.  I could smell what he was saying (weird thing to say I know, but you know what I mean).

I would suggest you read this book at home and not on a plane or train like I did.  Here is why.  When I plopped down the book in the middle seat to adjust my overhead compartment the lady sitting at the window looked at it and said, “Oh, this is such a sad book.”  I was on page 13, so I had no idea.  She was right.  This book is sad and will tug on your heart, if not your tears, that is for sure.  You may not want to cry like a baby on the Doylestown Local.

But, do read it.  It is very good and will give you a beautiful insight on culture.

Suggested Reading

The Orphaned Generation

Scott Wilcher (2010)

The Orphaned Generation by Scott WilcherThis is one of those books I got in the mail and read in one day.  Scott Wilcher knows what he is talking about and we need to listen.

There is an ever-growing gap between an older and  younger generation within the fellowship of the church.  Wilcher is not seeking to draw lines and declare a winner, rather, he aims to help us find a way to close that gap.   I really like his approach.

He is not selling a kit to fix your youth.  He is not selling a magic pill that you can give your youth pastor and everything will fall in line.  He is doing an excellent job of exegeting the Bible and showing us just how we are to get along in the church.

Plus, it is has extremely large margins.  Not sure why.  At first I thought it was kind of goofy but I liked the extra room for notes.  Just saying.

Suggested Reading

 

Sticky Church

Larry Osborne (2008)

This book is a great resource for anybody who works for a church.

I believe that the style of discipleship proposed in this book is dead on.  I might be saying that because I started a similar pilot project like it last year but either way…good stuff.

Osborne is not pretentious in his approach and does not claim to have it all figured out.  I like that and so will you.

 

 

 

Books To Read

The Jesus Storybook Bible

Sally Lloyd-Jones (2007)

We have been reading this to Billy for some time now and last night we finished it.  It is, without a doubt, his favorite book to have us read.  We will start over tonight.  He brings it to us and says, “about God.”  I like that.  Billy knows who the Bible is about–God.

If you are looking for a great book to read to your kids, or even for yourself, this is where you need to go.  It does a great job of pointing everything toward the coming of Jesus and God’s plan to rescue sinners.

Suggested Reading

Amusing Ourselves To Death-public discourse in the age of show business

Neil Postman (1985)

Everyone in America needs to read this book.  It is, as you have already noticed, a book written 25 years ago.  You will read it and immediately think that Neil Postman traveled back in time and published this thing.

Postman’s  primary thesis is that TV has changed everything by thrusting us into a constant state of entertainment.  The material he uses to layout his thesis deals primarily with TV watchers.  We, however, read this now and see the digital age:  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, this blog.  He nails this.

Given that thesis and how we see it 25 years removed, I do not see this as an attack on TV for us today (TV is so0oo 20th century) I see it as attack on what we have come to expect from everything.  We have come to a point where all things must entertain.  Feed me, feed me.  We have become a culture that depends on a 24 hour news cycle so that we can keep up with DWTS and who will run against Obama.  But, this must all be presented to us in a way that is sufficiently entertaining.

As an avid TV watcher, I am being very careful here and do not want to sound like a prude but here it goes.  TV in and of itself is not bad, a sin, or the downfall of America.  The idea that we must constantly be amused could be that.  TV and other forms of entertainment has the ability to do two things.  It can compel conversation or it can squelch it.  When Jennifer and I watch a show we often talk about it and discuss the ideas that we see and hear on the show.  But, there are other times when I watch something, someone turns the channel, and I don’t even remember what I was watching, you do it too.  We do these two things with sermons, books, and much artwork as well.  What does the watcher/hearer bring to the party?  Are you able to focus your mind and digest?  Or do you just show up hungry?

The book asks many good questions; it does not really answer that many questions.  But take a read on this then go and discuss it.

Now, if you will excuse me I have to go check my Facebook page.