Summer book clubs are kicking off June 13! Our hope behind these groups is to provide organic spaces for you to enjoy summer reading for yourself, and alongside family, friends, neighbors, or others within your community! Book club groups will not be formally organized this summer— this means that if you’re looking to be a part of a book club, we encourage you to start your own and recruit others in your spheres to join you. As you look through the ten books, found below, you’ll find a variety of topics and genres that we hope will both encourage you and provide meaningful and fruitful conversations and reflections. Ideally, book clubs will go from June 13 – July 24 (approximately 6 weeks), however, it is up to you (and group members) to determine your pace!
We hope this summer rhythm will be helpful in encouraging meaningful discussions on a variety of topics! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the summer book clubs, please feel free to reach out to Alanna Sellinger, Community Equipping and Ministry Leader.
Why Does God Care Who I Sleep With?
by Sam Allberry
A biblical perspective on what sex is designed to be, to mean and to do for us. Christians are increasingly seen as outdated, restrictive and judgmental when it comes to sex before marriage, cohabitation, homosexuality, gender identity, or transgender rights. In fact for many people, this issue is one of the biggest barriers for them considering Christianity. Sam Allberry sets out God’s good design for the expression of human sexuality, showing that God himself is love and that only he can satisfy our deepest desires.
by JP Moreland
Bracing and honest, Finding Quiet will validate the experiences of believers with mental illness, remind them they are not alone, and provide reassurance they can not only survive but thrive again. In Finding Quiet Moreland comes alongside fellow sufferers with encouragement and practical, hard-won advice. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 20 percent of Americans suffer from mental illness, and people in the pews are not immune. Moreland explores the spiritual and physical aspects of mental illness, pointing readers toward sound sources of information, treatment, and recovery.
Gentle and Lowly
by Dane Ortlund
Christians can easily feel that Jesus is perpetually disappointed and frustrated, maybe even close to giving up on them. They know what Christ has done for them―but who is he? How does he feel about his people amid all their sins and failures? In Matthew 11, Jesus describes himself as “gentle and lowly in heart,” longing for his people to find rest in him. This book reflects on his words, diving deep into Bible passages that speak of Christ’s affections for sinners and encouraging believers as they journey, weary and faltering, toward heaven
From Good to Grace
by Christine Hoover
God is calling you to something greater than good. So many of us feel as if we do not do enough and, in fact, are not enough. We try hard to be good–a good friend, mom, wife, Christian, employee, or ministry leader–hoping for that “atta-girl” from God, some heavenly assertion that we matter. In the process, we find ourselves living by a lesser gospel: the gospel of goodness. It’s a gospel without grace, and in the end, it’s good for nothing. With compelling illustrations from her own life and from Scripture, Christine Hoover helps you start asking, “What does God want for me?” before asking, “What does God want from me?” You’ll find yourself breathing a sigh of relief at this powerful message of freedom and hope. Rather than serving God out of obligation or duty, you’ll be compelled to love and serve God with great joy.
Prayer in the Night
by Tish Harrison Warren
How can we trust God in the dark? Framed around a nighttime prayer of Compline, Tish Harrison Warren explores themes of human vulnerability, suffering, and God’s seeming absence. When she navigated a time of doubt and loss, the prayer was grounding for her. She writes that practices of prayer “gave words to my anxiety and grief and allowed me to reencounter the doctrines of the church not as tidy little antidotes for pain, but as a light in darkness, as good news.” Where do we find comfort when we lie awake worrying or weeping in the night? This book offers a prayerful and frank approach to the difficulties in our ordinary lives at work, at home, and in a world filled with uncertainty.
How To Think
by Alan Jacob
Most of us don’t want to think. Thinking is trouble. It can force us out of familiar, comforting habits, and it can complicate our relationships with like-minded friends. Finally, thinking is slow, and that’s a problem when our habits of consuming information (mostly online) leave us lost in the echo chamber of social media, where speed and factionalism trump accuracy and nuance. In this clever, witty book, Jacobs diagnoses the many forces that prevent thought – forces that have only worsened in the age of Twitter, such as “alternative facts,” and information overload. He also dispels the many myths we hold about what it means to think well. (For example: it’s impossible to “think for yourself.”)
Steal Away Home
by Matt Carter & Aaron Ivey
Thomas Johnson and Charles Spurgeon lived worlds apart. Johnson, an American slave, born into captivity and longing for freedom— Spurgeon, an Englishman born into relative ease and comfort, but, longing too for a freedom of his own. Their respective journeys led to an unlikely meeting and an even more unlikely friendship, forged by fate and mutual love for the mission of Christ. Steal Away Home is a new kind of book based on historical research, which tells a previously untold story set in the 1800s of the relationship between an African-American missionary and one of the greatest preachers to ever live.
Abide in Christ
by Andrew Murray
Here are thirty-one heart-warming readings that show you how to live daily in closer communion and fellowship with Jesus. In just five minutes each day, Abide In Christ will be sure to bless and encourage you as fall in love with Jesus as He is revealed to us throughout Scripture. And, in so doing, you will better understand the benefits and blessings of Abiding in Him, and all the blessings that entails as you continue your walk of faith.
by Chaim Potok
It’s the spring of 1944 and fifteen-year-olds Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders have lived five blocks apart all their lives. But they’ve never met, not until the day an accident during a softball game sparks an unlikely friendship. Soon these two boys—one expected to become a Hasidic rebbe, the other at ease with secular America—are drawn into one another’s worlds despite one father’s strong opposition. Set against the backdrop of WWII and the creation of the state of Israel, The Chosen is a poignant novel about transformation and tradition, growing up and growing wise, and finding yourself—even if that might mean leaving your community.
Reading While Black
by Esau McCaulley
Reading While Black is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation. At a time in which some within the African American community are questioning the place of the Christian faith in the struggle for justice, New Testament scholar McCaulley argues that reading Scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition is invaluable for connecting with a rich faith history and addressing the urgent issues of our times. Ultimately McCaulley calls the church to a dynamic theological engagement with Scripture, in which Christians of diverse backgrounds dialogue with their own social location as well as the cultures of others.