“Googling God” has a subtitle, “Searching for a faith you can believe in.” At first I thought it might be a possible book an unbeliever could read for evangelistic purposes. What I discovered is that it is much better suited for someone who likes to read, or young in their Christian faith, or has hit several bumps in the road and is questioning God. The last two chapters bring the book into focus. Continue reading
“Ultimate Questions” is an excellent introductory book to the Bible and Christianity. I received it from a recent church I visited. It makes a clear presentation of many initial questions a new believer would have or someone who is searching for answers. The purpose of the book is “Who is God and how do you relate to Him.” Continue reading
“Abraham – The Friend of God” is a solid small group study aid on the life of Abraham. In typical Chuck Swindoll style, he taught through the life of Abraham in a concise and clear manner. Actually the book was written by David Lien and Bill Butterworth based on the teaching ministry of Chuck. While it was written back in 1988, the study is just as relevant today, because of the timeless truths from the Word of God. Continue reading
“Pastors [Off the Record]” is a refreshing book for pastors AND for those who care about pastors. Ulstein had a brilliant idea to interview pastors for many different denominations, age ranges and stages of ministry, areas of North America, size of churches as well as city and rural churches. Ulstein is a journalist, who wanted to go out and get an unbiased perspective on what ministry is about. At first he found guarded people – those who pastor or who have pastored. He found the truth of most pastors and that was that they rarely feel free to speak opening with laypersons.
He’s probably right. Too many Christians do not understand the dynamics of serving in a volunteer based occupation in which people have high expectations and let themselves be well-heard. Too many try to assume pastors merely should apply business principles and life goes on. The problem is that ministry is not a business. Ministry involves the souls of people who are deeply loved by the Master who has enlisted the pastor to serve. Most people think that pastor’s kids are just like any other child. The perspectives of those in the congregation is often too short-sighted to understand the pressures of being in the pastor’s family.
I found myself agreeing with so much of what other pastors said. It was incredible how pastoral situations are not unique – go figure! (1 Cor. 10:13!) I found myself laughing and almost weeping, because I understood so much of the joys and the pains that pastors revealed in their interviews. Every church leader ought to read this, so that he might have a chance at understanding what the pastor’s role is and the challenges his pastor might be going through as he tends to God’s flock. Buy one of these for each of your leaders, so they can take care of the one who takes care of them.
This study guide was produced by the Desiring God team working with John Piper. It’s a great ten session tool for small groups to work through Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life.” The book itself is an excellent challenge as previously noted on the post yesterday and this will assist in accountability to the content. Continue reading
“Don’t Waste Your Life” is a brilliant challenge to hone in your purpose for living. While the word “waste” seems negative, Piper is anything but negative. He wisely declares that life is short and human pursuits will result in a waste of life, while pursuing God’s purposes will result in the satisfaction of a passion-filled life that in the end – standing before the Lord Jesus – will result in blessing and honor from Him. Continue reading
“Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome is a welcomed breath of fresh air. It is not needed for those who keep their eyes on the Lord, are continuously filled with the Holy Spirit, have memorized and completely live by God’s Word through faith. However, the rest of us humans Kent and Barbara have addressed the challenges pastors face. Continue reading
“Bible Leaders who Coped with Stress” is a great small group discussion study on something that gets as much attention today as anything – stress. People talk about being worn down, stressed out and fed up. Continue reading
“Putting Your Past in It’s Place” is a great tool for understanding how to deal with your past or for use as a tool to help another person who is struggling with his/her past. Everyone carries a certain amount of baggage; it just depends on how people use it for God’s glory or their own foolishness. God always works our situations together for good, if we will trust Him and realize that His will is perfect and He never wastes opportunities to conform us into His image. Continue reading
“Self-Injury” is a short booklet on helping people who inflict pain on themselves. For some who are struggling with emotional issues, pressures, fears, etc., self-injury seems like a good way to protect themselves from something worse. It may not make sense to most people, but the inflicted pain becomes something over which the person, who feels life is out-of-control, can gain some semblance of control, even if it means greater pain. The physical pain becomes a way to mask the emotional and mental stresses of life. It becomes an emotional relief. Self-injury isn’t really an option to the one in pain, it “becomes” a necessity.