And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Often I am asked by the members of the church I pastor for a recommendation of a good book to read. I love books and this question helps me to connect to a person instantly. I firmly believe it is our duty to grow in Christ and that books area great means of helping. Mind you, not everything out there sold by a Christian bookstore is helpful, many are good, but some are quite questionable, if not blasphemous. Like the Bereans, we must read with discernment.
Thus, my heart is to help people grow with good books, and these books need to have specific qualities for recommendation.
· The book must be Biblically and doctrinally accurate.
· The book must be a good read, not simply informative, but inspiring.
· The central theme of the book is God centered, not a self-help book.
· The book must teach something of value.
That being said, here is a short list of ten books I believe would be beneficial to the lay leaders of the church. These are in no particular order.
Instruments In the Redeemer’s Hands, by Paul Tripp I love this book for the way it humbles me to love on other people. It encourages us to look beyond self and to glorify God through the ministry we are given.
The Deliberate Church, by Mark Dever This book helps the leaders of the church keep the train on the rails. It supports to center the mission of the church on a Kingdom Bound track.
Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp I recommend this book as it opens the eyes of the laity to the pressures and pains of ministry. If someone were to ask how they can best aid his pastor, I would say read this book and let God speak to you.
Holiness by J C Ryle This book is undeniably one of the best. It reminds us of our holy calling, not in legalistic fashion, but all of grace. We need holiness, we need grace. You will gain a greater love of God through reading this tome.
Maximum Impact by Ed Welch Christ commands His children to love. This book investigates your calling and helps to scripturally renew the heart and mind.
Prayer by Ole Hallesby. This is possibly out of print, but it is the most refreshing book on prayer that I have ever read.
Revival, by Martyn Lloyd Jones Lloyd Jones never wrote a bad book. This book will fascinate you with the possibilities of what happens when a church surrenders itself to God.
Future Grace by John Piper Quite possibly one of the most encouraging books I have ever read.
The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott and The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I recommend these two because many of the problems that are found in marriage and society relate to misunderstanding our design as men and women, husbands and wives. If your home life is out of whack, then it causes your ministry to suffer, and may even disqualify you from service.
No book by man will ever be a cure all. But a good book will help you center your thoughts on God and inspire you to abide in Him.