We’re posting summer reading suggestions from some of our contributors here at DSR. These are recommendations that we want to share with you to hopefully point you to some good books, as well as let you get to know some of our writers a little better. These recommendations will be made up of both old and new books from a variety of genres.
Here are the other recommendations:
Today’s recommendations come from Andy Reeves. Andy is a native of Arkansas who has recently graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with his M.Div.
I just graduated from seminary (seriously…this last Friday). So as I’ve been compiling my own list for summer reading and thinking about which books I’d recommend to others, my choices were heavily influenced by where I am in my own life. I’m looking at the next few months eager to to be used by God in ministry, and I want to be spending the summer months reading (and in some cases rereading) books that I believe will continue to shape and equip me to that end. Whether you’re a student, someone who believes God has called you to some type of ministry, or a pastor who’s been in ministry for some time, I’d like to invite you to read these books along with me. I think they’ll help prepare us for our labors.
1. The Heavenly Footman by John Bunyan
This 74-page book packs a punch of gospel truth about how seriously we must take the gospel call. This book will challenge you, encourage you, and convict you to pursue Christ better. What better way to prepare for ministry than to see the need you have for the cross?
2. Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen, Edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor.
This book will serve you in searching out secret and hidden sins that linger in your heart. We as pastors are called to set an example to the saints in our ministries. To do so, we must pursue holiness and lay siege to sin.
3. Holiness by J. C. Ryle
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. I know it will convict me to live a life pleasing to God and will further help me to set an example to those I pastor.
4. On the Incarnation by Athanasius
This is one of the best and easy to read books from the early church fathers. This book articulates why Christ had to become man. This book will help you read the Bible better and see Jesus as the King who conquered death. (Editors Note: Pick up the edition with the introduction by C.S. Lewis, pictured above.)
5. Knowing God by J. I. Packer
This is what we are called to do and train our people to do. It’s as simple as that. This is a classic. It deserves to be read and reread.
6. Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
This book will give you a God exalting vision for preaching and will instill in you a conviction that you must hold preaching as the highest honor.
7. Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon
At so many points you will scream out “YES!” Here’s a taste of the book: “Bad preaching is insufferably long, even if the chronological length is brief.”
8. A Praying Life by Paul Miller
This is a book I haven’t had the privilege reading but a book I want to digest and let impact my prayer life.
9. The Pastor’s Book by R. Kent Hughes and Douglas Sean O’Donnell
This is an all round excellent resource for pastoral ministry.
10. Can These Bones Live? by Bill Henard
This book is by one of the best professors I had in seminary. I took this class with him on church revitalization. It was one of the best and most practically gospel-centered classes I’ve taken. This book will prepare you not only to pastor but also to build a church culture that doesn’t die and to recognize the signs of decay in your ministry. Bill Henard doesn’t care about increasing your numbers, he cares about doing things right and maximizing the potential of your church and your members to reach your community.