getting caught up on book reviews. i allow myself two sentences: one for summary and one for my review.
Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life, by Jeff Goins
how coming to the end of yourself is essential for the good life. fantastic writing and insight, this book needs to be assigned reading for anyone 17 – 40.
*full disclosure: i was the literary agent for this book.
Only God: Change Your Story, Change the World, by Dwight Mason
how to lean into a full life of adventure, alignment and purposefulness. i didn’t think i was going to like this book, but i liked it more and more as i read; a nice practical counterpart to donald miller’s A Millions Miles in a Thousand Years.
Static Jedi: The art of hearing the quiet whisper of God, by Eric Timm (book cover not available yet*)
learning to move beyond the static (noise, clutter, distractions) in our lives.
the official endorsement i wrote for this book: Weird title/awesome book. Quirky author/insightful thinker. Unique style/fresh ideas.
*note: this book releases in early september
Church & Ministry
Cultivate: A Youth Worker’s Guide to Establishing Healthy Relationships, by Matt Wilks
advice for managing the many relationships in the world of a youth worker. worth the read, for sure, for paid youth workers who want to be more proactive in the complexities and nuances of the myriad relational contexts where they need a win.
Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community, by Jon Huckins and Rob Yackley
a look at the missional church movement through the experience of a particular experiment in san diego. helpful and interesting, and easy to read, but occasionally too focused on the context of the central case study.
Criticism Bites: Dealing With, Responding To, and Learning From Your Critics, by Brian Berry
brilliant, practical advice for handling criticism for ministry leaders. written for a youth worker, this book is must reading for anyone in any church leadership role.
Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, by Andrew Root
the first in a series of four short books exploring theology in youth ministry, sometimes using the fictionalized story of a youth worker in theological crisis. the content is amazing, but the jumping in and out of the fable occasionally frustrated me.
Everybody’s Urban: Understanding the Survival Mindset of the Next Generation, by Leneita Fix and Jeffrey Wallace
reframing “urban” as teenagers in survival mode. while i wasn’t sure i completely agreed with 100% of this book, it completely made me think in new ways.
Youth Ministry from the Outside In: How Relationships and Stories Shape Identity, by Brandon K. McKoy
a radically different way of thinking about teenage identity formation and youth ministry.
the official endorsement i wrote for this book: My brain is swimming with questions and ideas, conviction and possibility after reading Youth Ministry from the Outside In. McKoy turns our ministry inside out, actually–moving our focus from isolated individuals assembled together, toward an ecosystem of living and breathing people-in-relationship. Read this book carefully–it may take more than one pass–and watch how it worms its way into your thinking and practice.
*note: this book releases in early october
A Faith of Their Own: Understanding the Common Cry of Preteens, by Chris Folmsbee
a non-fluffy look into the faith development of pre-teens.
the official endorsement i wrote for this book: In my over 30 years of ministry with young teens, I have noticed that many parents don’t start thinking about teenage faith development until their children are well into their teen years. This book provides parents an entré into engaging the faith formation of their preteens and young teens before their children have mostly separated into a faith of their own. Deeply theological while still easily readable and practical, Folmsbee gives parents a greatly needed gift.
*note: this book releases on july 1