If you’ve been in a mentoring group or hung around Radical Mentoring for any length of time, you know how much we value reading. Disciples of Jesus are followers and learners and reading quality books is a great way to learn.
So, our team wanted to share with you some of the best books we read in 2021. But one quick note, this is a list of the best books we read that will grow your faith. Novels, business books, and other nonfiction books are great, and you should read those too, but this is a list of books we think will either fill up your cup as a mentor or could be used in your mentoring group . . .
|A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Winn Collier
Few would argue that Eugene Peterson was a giant of the Christian faith, but this biography goes beyond the obvious. Winn Collier tells Eugene’s story in a way that highlights his struggles and frustrations while never losing sight of his unquenchable longing for God. It captures the essence of a man whose authentic pursuit of the spiritual life serves as a template and an inspiration. -Jackson Beetler
|How (Not) to Read the Bible: Making Sense of the Anti-women, Anti-science, Pro-violence, Pro-slavery and Other Crazy-Sounding Parts of Scripture, Dan Kimball
A deep dive into some of the most challenging sections of the Bible. If you’ve ever wondered how to parse those difficult to read passages, this book takes them head-on. Kimball takes each passage step-by-step, providing background to understand better what you’re reading. -Trey Brush
|The Intentional Father: A Practical Guide to Raise Sons of Courage and Character, Jon Tyson
The best book I have read on raising boys in a long time. It’s a combination of deep theology and practical instruction for raising the next generation of Godly men in an increasingly complicated culture. I liked it so much I have been giving away copies to other dads all year. -Kevin Harris
|Leadership 101: What Every Leader Must Know, John C. Maxwell
A practical must-have for anyone who wants to lead with intentionality and influence through relationship-building. It is especially critical for those who want to know more about unleashing their leadership potential. Whether you lead at home, in business, in ministry, or anywhere else, this book contains timeless axioms for a better version of yourself. -Eugene Wallace
|The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions, Emily P. Freeman
Emily P. Freeman’s approach to decision-making is simple, well thought out, and takes the anxiety out of life’s decisions. It’s an excellent read for anyone, but especially those who, like me, sometimes get overwhelmed with all the decisions life throws our way. I also recommend the accompanying journal for those who want to put the book’s teachings into action. -Kristen Brady
|On My Worst Day: The Narrative Changes When Redemption Enters In, John Lynch
In 2021, our friend John Lynch re-released an updated version of On My Worst Day with 40 new stories of redemption. Our team read it together in the lead-up to the conversation we hosted with John last summer. A master storyteller, John’s hope-filled recollections make for a different kind of devotional or even a good book to use at the beginning of a mentoring season. -Jackson Beetler
|Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Tim Keller
Most books on prayer approach the subject in one of two ways: pragmatic or experiential. In Prayer, Tim Keller bridges the gap by explaining the purpose of prayer and exploring time-tested approaches to prayer. Experience and practice are not enemies to prayer; they are two sides of the same coin. –Cam Washington
|Seven Things I Wish Christians Knew about the Bible, Michael Bird
Michael Bird’s book is great for anyone wanting an understandable introduction to the Bible’s significance, history, and inspiration. Bird’s approach doesn’t get too deep in the weeds but presents seven important things to know if you want to understand more about the Bible. -Trey Brush
|The Thing Beneath the Thing: What’s Hidden Inside (and What God Helps Us Do About It, Steve Carter
This book encourages readers to look a little deeper at their actions to understand the real reasons behind the things we do. It also reinforces our true identity as image-bearers of our Heavenly Father and how to live out this calling. -Kevin Harris (P.S. Come hang out with Steve as he unpacks some of these ideas with us at Mentor Summit 2022: East!)
|Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions, Lysa Terkeurst
This book looks at the topic of grace through the lens of our relationships. My mentoring group read it as we approached the holiday season, a time when we often must deal with complicated family dynamics and emotions. This book is full of practical teaching you can easily apply to any relationship. -Kristen Brady
Challenge: If you’re not a big reader, commit to reading (and netting out) a certain number of quality books in 2022. It doesn’t have to be a huge number but put it down on paper as a challenge to yourself. And if you’re a voracious reader, keep it up! And consider giving away copies of books that deeply impact you.
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