Tag Archives: wrecked

two sentence book reviews, part 4 (christian living and church & ministry)

getting caught up on book reviews. i allow myself two sentences: one for summary and one for my review.

Christian Living

wreckedWrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life, by Jeff Goins
5 stars
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 godOnly God: Change Your Story, Change the World, by Dwight Mason
4 stars
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.

EricSamuelTimmStatic Jedi: The art of hearing the quiet whisper of God, by Eric Timm (book cover not available yet*)
4 stars
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

cultivateCultivate: A Youth Worker’s Guide to Establishing Healthy Relationships, by Matt Wilks
4 stars
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 placesThin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community, by Jon Huckins and Rob Yackley
4 stars
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 bitesCriticism Bites: Dealing With, Responding To, and Learning From Your Critics, by Brian Berry
5 stars
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 ministryTaking Theology to Youth Ministry, by Andrew Root
4 stars
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 urbanEverybody’s Urban: Understanding the Survival Mindset of the Next Generation, by Leneita Fix and Jeffrey Wallace
4 stars
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 inYouth Ministry from the Outside In: How Relationships and Stories Shape Identity, by Brandon K. McKoy
5 stars
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 ownA Faith of Their Own: Understanding the Common Cry of Preteens, by Chris Folmsbee
5 stars
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

2 sentence book reviews, part 4

it’s a crazy week for me — a few days in colorado for an event at group publishing, and a few days in the san bernardino mountains with my family and another family. so, i think it’s time to post a week of 2 sentence book reviews!

i’ve got 44 lines for 22 books. the first sentence of each review is a summary, and the second sentence is my opinion. hope you appreciate the brevity!

part 1: five general fiction books
part 2: three general non-fiction and two young adult fiction books
part 3: four illustrated books or graphic novels and one humor book
part 4: four christian living books and three theology and ministry books

Christian Living

Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into your Comfortable Life, by Jeff Goins
5 stars
Acknowledging and unpacking the painful, necessary, and re-orienting process of having your life up-ended for a greater cause. The next book you should read.

My official endorsement: Wrecked fulfills two rare deliverables: it messes with you (in a good way), and introduces you to the fantastic writing of a new author you’ll certainly be hearing more from.

Kingdom Journeys: Rediscovering the Lost Spiritual Discipline, by Seth Barnes
5 stars
Filled with well-told, powerful stories, Barnes convincingly proposes the process of having a Kingdom of God vision sparked in your heart and mind. Required reading for anyone who wants to change the world, or who works with people who might.

My official endorsement: Two things really set this book apart: first, Seth has something new to say, something important and insightful about faith development (and, particularly, about the faith development of young adults); second, Seth makes reading the book a wonderful adventure with the inclusion of dozens of captivating true stories. Youth workers, pastors, parents, and young adults themselves need to read this book.

Note: Barnes is presenting on this topic at The Summit.

Shrewd: Daring to Live the Startling Command of Jesus, by Rick Lawrence
5 stars
an unpacking of jesus’ instructions to be as shrewd as a serpent and as gentle as a dove. amazing and insightful book — SO worth the read (i’ll be recommending this in my coaching programs).

Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness, by Joshua Becker
5 stars
A practical book for teenagers who want to live simply. Accessible and compelling, Becker’s clearly knows what he writes about.

My official endorsement: What I really love about Joshua’s book (and why I will be recommending it to teenagers, parents, and youth workers) is that he so clearly describes a compelling way of living. Today’s teenagers are pitched this and that all day long; but rarely are they exposed to a truly compelling and contemporary way of living that is somehow both counter-intuitive and so obviously biblical.

Theology and Ministry

Junia Is Not Alone, by Scot McKnight
5 stars
A brief but powerful unmasking of both the significant female leaders of the Bible, as well as the mistranslation that has obscured them for centuries. Anyone who has ever wondered (or maybe even more importantly, anyone who hasn’t wondered) what the Bible says about women in leadership must read this quick book.

The Zambia Project: The Story of Two Worlds Flipped Upside Down, by Chip Huber
5 stars
The autobiographical story of a school chaplain and his teenagers whose passion for impacting the world was sparked, resulting in significantly altered lives in two communities – one in suburban Chicago, and one in a tiny Zambian village. So much better than most self-published books, this is a great read for youth workers, mission leaders, and anyone with a Kingdom dream of changing the world.

My official endorsement: Narratives have within them a powerful ability to stir our thinking, shape our outlook, and awaken our imaginations. The Zambia Project is a fantastic example of that reality, with gorgeous implications for youth workers, educators, parents, and development workers. When you read Chip’s book, you can’t help but think, “Well, clearly, God moved in that situation.” But the thing is: God wants to move in and through you also.

With Open Hands, by Henri J. M. Nouwen
5 stars
Nouwen’s classic book is a simple insight into prayer. Understandably dated at points, it still provides a deep cleansing breath, and a metaphor that will shape my own prayer life for years to come.