I have taken a rather significant break from writing. Partially because of time constraints and partially because of major writer’s block. However, I decided to share in brief three impactful books that I read this past year that have had a profound impact on my spiritual development, the way I see ministry, and how I am supposed to do life as a follower of Jesus. I encourage you to check out these books. The books are in no particular order.
1) Ekklesia Rising by Dean Briggs
This book takes time to break down in a detailed and meaningful way the powerful passage found in Matthew 16:13-20. I have begun to see the Church (Ekklesia) in a new profound light since reading this book. I could not believe how much more meaning there is to us being the Ekklesia than is communicated or understood today in Westernized Christianity. The truths in this book if grasped and put into practice by a group of people doing life together could change their region for the glory of God.
2) The Celtic Way of Evangelism: How Christianity Can Reach the West. . . AGAIN by George G. Hunter III
This book takes a look at how St. Patrick took the Gospel to Ireland and successfully established Christ-filled communities across Ireland when the native inhabitants were still barbaric and had no grid for the gospel. In many ways, it is relatable now more than ever to the Western hemisphere. It gives vision as to how we can reach people because of how secularized our communities have become and how little awareness there really is of the pure gospel message. The “Celtic Way” was a relationship, community-based approach that in my words took to heart the need to accept people where they are and see where they could go with God in their life. It was an approach that truly believed discipleship begins at the point of contact, not conversion.
3) The Masterplan of Evangelism Abridged Version by Dr. Robert E. Coleman
If you are serious about discipleship this is a must read. This book has given language to thoughts and ideas that I have felt for quite a while about how to view discipleship and evangelism but been unable to communicate. Dr. Coleman does such an excellent job of communicating Jesus’ approach to discipleship and how evangelism, and discipleship are really married together in more ways than we probably initially realize. I believe this book is practically a must read as an aid to building a discipleship-making culture as it gives practical application and big-picture vision for discipleship and evangelism. I am personally aware of this book having a huge influence on the curriculum used to train missionaries for at least two influential, fruitful missionary organizations and I know there are more organizations that would say the same thing.