This is the first post in a series of posts on the “Best of 2008.” This year has been a tough year for me, no many levels, but despite all of the downsides it has been a blessed year. As the year comes to a close, I thought I would take some time to share some thoughts on this year. More specifically, these are my thoughts on some of the highlights of my year. Let’s just start with one of my favorite things: books.
I read a lot of books this year. This year, it seems I read a high percentage of non-youth ministry related books. This was good. You could call these books for my soul, and nurturing the soul is a very important task. What follows is my list of the best non-youth ministry books I read this year. Some of these books were published in 2008, others were not. Regardless of when they were written/published, these are the best books I read this year that are not directly related to youth ministry. I highly recommend each of them to anyone looking for something new to read.
Best of 2008: Non-Youth Ministry Books:
1. Signature Sins by Michael Mangis
This is a book I read to review for YMX. I am so glad I got this book to review, because I probably would not have found it otherwise. (I’ll post a link to the review when its posted over at YMX) A few weeks ago, I posted on a quote in the book that put youth ministers in a negative light. The purpose of this book is summed up by these two quotes from the first chapter. “We do not sin at random. Our sin takes a consistent and predictable course.” And “When we allow struggles to turn us toward God we redeem the brokenness.”
2. Addiction & Grace by Gerald May
I know it was not written this year, but I just got around to reading it. To be honest, I started reading this a few years ago and then put it down. I am so glad I picked it back up and finished it this year. To be completely honest, I read an original version and not the new updated one that came out a few years ago. I posted two quotes from this book this year – go here and here to read those quotes.
Gerald May does an excellant job discussing the multiple aspects of addiction; physical, mental and spiritual. There is a lot of great, practical information within this book. Another must read for every youth worker. It will help you better understand/help anyone you know who is dealing with an addiction.
3. the dip by Seth Godin
This little book (76 pages) came out the end of 2007, but I didn’t get around to reading it until the first of this year. This is a book on quitting. Quitting the right things at the right time, in order to focus on not quitting the stuff you need to stick with. Making it to the end involved making it through the dip – that tough part of the journey which causes most people to give up on their goal. The connection for youth ministers (and any church leader) is clear. In order to make it to your goal (your vision for your ministry) you have to make it through the dip. You will have to quit some “programs” in order to not quit on your goal.
Its worth the read, and it shouldn’t take you more than an hour or so to read. To read some of my thoughts on one particular quote, on longevity, read this post.
4. free refill by Mark Atteberry
I got this book from Mark a little over a year ago. Over the years, there have been times where I have felt empty in my faith. I have needed more Jesus, to be filled up. Atteberry has written a book filled with examples of biblical people who were refilled. You will find encouragement within these pages and get a little glimpse of how much Jesus wants you to be filled up with his love.
I posted a quote on Jesus’ love earlier this year, go to this post to read it. And when you are done, go to the store (or internet bookstore) and get a copy of this book to read the whole thing.
Those are the best non-youth ministry books I read in 2008. What were your favorite non-youth ministry books from 2008?