5 Books I Enjoyed in 2018 and What I Am Reading in 2019
I read a number of books this year, some good and some not so good. Below are 5 of the books I enjoyed most reading this year, in no particular order, and why I enjoyed them as well as a look into the books I have on my list for 2019.
Finish by Jon Acuff
Written as a follow-up to his 2013 book Start, Finish deals with the problems inherent to closing out a project. Perfectionism, fear, and rejection are just a few reasons why creators hesitate to put out what they have worked so hard on. As a result, some projects remain forever in the “working on it” stage of creation. Jon Acuff hilariously tackles these thought processes while giving many practical ways even the biggest perfectionists and procrastinators can get the job finished.
Letters to the Church by Francis Chan
Who doesn’t have the newest book written by author Francis Chan on their list? Letters to the Church was received with a lot of fanfare and ultimately did not disappoint. In it, Chan addresses a lot of concerns he has about the American church model and where it doesn’t seem to line-up with the Christianity presented in the gospel. Thought I did not agree with every conclusion, most of what was written is very solid and thought-provoking.
Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry
In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry takes us through her personal journey out of lesbianism and into Christianity. This author was easily one of the most descriptive and enjoyable authors I read from this year. If you are someone who struggles with same-sex attraction or are someone who doesn’t understand the struggle whatsoever, this book is a must-read in 2019.
Creating Community by Andy Stanley and Bill Willits
In Creating Community, authors Andy Stanley and Bill Willits do a marvelous job proving the importance of tight-knit groups within churches and do an even better job providing practical actions churches can take to create close-knit groups.
Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
I found Made to Stick to be a great book for ministers looking to make their sermon points or ideas connect with their congregation. A very practical book with a lot of specific, real-world examples, Made to Stick is a great book for learning how to present ideas and cause them to connect with others.
My Reading List for 2019
Most of my reading choices for 2019 are focused on speaking and presentation. It’s a personal rule of mine to read at least one book on preaching every year, a tradition I’ve kept since 2012. Many of the other books focus on understanding the thoughts and feelings of others better so that I can better respond to them as a minister.
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
The Art of Storytelling by John Walsh
Long Story Short by Margot Leitman
How to Analyze People by Jessica Greiner
Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright
The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
Where is God When It Hurts? By Philip Yancey
The Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon
Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Encountering God Through Expository Preaching by Jim Orrick, Brian Payne, and Ryan Fullerton