Good Reads for 2016 or Any Other New Year

Since this is my first Trinity Talks message of 2016, I thought it might be good to pass on word about some of the more meaningful books I’ve run across over the last few months. Many of these have been around for a while…and may be familiar. If not, I encourage you to take a look, if you have time:

Messy Spirituality, (Zondervan) by Mike Yaconelli. This is the book that I discovered during my time at the Stephen Ministry Leader training in Dallas last summer…our Tuesday morning men’s group has been using it as a point of departure for our breakfast discussions over the last several months. It is full of quotable quotes and vignettes that bring home the Scriptural truth that “while we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). E-book: $6.99. Paperback: $12.03

You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving the Church…and Rethinking Faith (Baker), by David Kinnaman. Kinnaman, a Christian researcher who has become an advocate for 20-something young adults, speaks to the need for one-on-one discipleship among members of the household of God that goes beyond the traditional models of catechesis and “mass-produced” manufacture of Christ-followers. Whether you are a parent or grandparent of a young adult or simply have a heart for the next generations of Christians, this book will enlighten you. Kinnaman was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Southeastern District church workers’ conference. His book now comes with a discussion guide. E-book: $9.08. Paperback: $15.97.

The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship, and Community (InterVarsity), by Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens, and Dwight Friesen. The authors speak to the reality that the church was never intended to be “consumer-driven”…but a community that intentionally builds relationships with the people of its neighborhood. Just how this can happen…not only among networked churches, but together with local businesses, government reps, non-church social welfare institutions, etc…is engagingly described here by folks who have walked the walk. E-book: $9.99. Paperback: $15.28. 

Devoted to God and Each Other (Redemption), by Deane L. Schuessler. Meaningful, grace-centered devotional materials for married couples are not easy to find. This book is just the ticket if you are looking for a helpful resource for you and your significant other. Dr. Schuessler is a well-known and beloved LCMS pastor and former-missionary who has served in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area for many years. Paperback (only): $12.83.

Recalling the baptism of our loving Lord and Savior, we celebrate the gift of the Spirit each of us received at our own baptism. Let’s look to the source of the abundant Life gifted to us through water and the Word…and watch how that gift continues to unfold among us.