****** denotes workbook for discipleship material–recommended for one on one disciple-making relationships
Discipleship/Growth in Christ
The Bookends of the Christian Life by Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington This book is a short read full of important truths about living the Christian life IN the power and truth of the gospel–by grace and in the transforming power of the Spirit seeking holiness. A short summary–“forgiveness of sins and power to change.” Bridges has a straightforward writing style that is chocked full of biblical truth.
Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller Keller does an excellent job at defining what idols are and the place they take in our lives. He sets up how idols rule our affections in our culture. We tend to think of idolatry as worshipping gold statues–idolatry can be any good thing that we put our hope in–spouses, money, children, work, etc. A great book to examine one’s heart and life. Identifying our idols helps us repent and grow in the power of the gospel.
Desiring God by John Piper This is a challenging book for some to read, but it is solid. It may be a book that one reads a few chapters at a time over time. It is a modern classic. It covers Biblical theology and worldview in depth and teaches believers that their joy and happiness is to be in knowing and glorifying God. The question of sin and evil is addressed.
The Discipline of Discernment by Tim Challies The Christian world today can be defined by a lack of discernment. I highly respect Tim Challies as a blogger, book reviewer and now, author. This book should be a staple for maturing believers to hold the gospel high and learn to discern false teaching. This is a practice in which we all must grow.
The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges This is a great book about walking with Christ in the light of his gospel daily. We tend to live thinking we have got it all together or shrinking in guilt all of the time. This book continually points back to Scripture to encourage a dependent walk in the reality of His grace. New believers to mature believers will benefit from this book. I start with this book every time!
Do I Know God? by Tullian Tchividjian This book is a great book for someone who has just come into relationship with Christ or a group that has believers and non-believers. He writes in a conversational tone that examines ways people assume that they know God and encourages the disciplines to grow in a fellowship with Christ. As a maturing believer, I found it to be a good book for me and a good resource for others. He describes difficult concepts in simple ways.
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper Piper pokes holes in the walls of our comfortable Christian culture like no other writer today. This is a great book to challenge one’s heart, attitudes and daily life in order to awaken hearts to the urgency of this life in Christ. This book is good to examine the pattern of our lives and how that affects the heart.
How People Change by Lane and Tripp This is a book that encourages growth in the everyday of our lives through the truth and power of the gospel. It is excellent. There is also a great workbook to it that we use at WDC for growth in one on one disciple-making relationships. It is good for new believers and all believers. ********
Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung This is a MUST read about the will of God. We get so many things from the culture about God’s will instead of from his word. This book is a quick SOLID read that I highly encourage 20-somethings to check out. He examines the phenomena in the Christian culture of waiting around to hear from God instead of following what his word says. READ IT!
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith by Timothy Keller Keller examines the parable of the Prodigal Son and reveals God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and moralistic. Another good read to examine one’s heart and live thankfully and freely in the marvelous grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ–not by works so that no man can boast. Short read.
Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins we Tolerate by Jerry Bridges Bridges challenges us in our personal holiness and leaves no stone unturned. This book works well in one-on-one discipleship relationships because the environment for full examination of the heart is there. He offers a Biblical perspective on sin and grace, and He helps the reader examine their hearts and move toward growth.
The PAPA Prayer by Larry Crabb This is a good book about relational prayer that also asks the reader to examine their hearts. I love the fact that this book challenges the way we pray and attempt to manipulate the Father instead of listening to His heart and knowing and acknowledging Him for who He is. I have participated in and led this in a small group setting and in one-on-one discipleship relationships, and it works.
What Jesus Demands from the World by John Piper Piper looks at the gospels to see the direct commands from Christ. He outlines chapter by chapter each demand that is found in the gospels. This challenges one’s comfort in daily life and obedience. This book could be used as a weekly or daily devotional. It would be a great starting place for new believers teaching the basics and building on them, but it is also a challenges mature believers.
Growth in Suffering
Polishing God Monuments by Jim Andrews This book has been such a comfort to me in times of suffering causing me to examine my heart and to cling to the truths of God’s word and character. Andrews writes about the real life struggles of his daughter and son-in-law through devastating illnesses. He blends straightforward theology with the account of the young couple’s afflictions. He states that God’s people are refined with trials in two ways–suffering for the faith and suffering with faith. This book helps believers struggle with doubt and despair offering biblical perspective, practical direction and sustaining hope. A MUST READ!
Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy by Larry Crabb Crabb writes that “shattered dreams are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream.” Crabb uses the story of Naomi’s shattered dreams in Ruth to help see how God sometimes strips us of earthly happiness to release us to joy in Him–the deepest dream. This book has been helpful to me and those I am in a disciple-making relationship with to help see God’s truth and purpose in the midst of deep pain and disappointment.
Challenges to practical faith
Foxes Book of Martyrs This book traces those who died for the sake of Christ’s name. Oh, what an encouragement and challenge to persevere no matter the cost!
Total Truth by Nancy Pearcy This is a solid book examining Biblical/Christian worldview. Most Christians do not have a united worldview that is based on the truth of God’s word. This books looks at philosophy and how our worldview is formed. It is an excellent resource.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Wow. This is a must read for every follower of Christ. Bunyan wrote this while in prison for preaching the gospel. This is so laden with scripture, and it speaks to the journey of life following Christ so vividly. It is an allegory, and it will encourage you.
Books for the Disciple-Maker
Instruments in the Redeemers Hands by Paul David Tripp This is a resource for helping others change. There is a companion workbook with the title “Helping others Change”
Making Kingdom Disciples by Charles H. Dunahoo Dunahoo helps to build a framework for worldview as the foundation for disciple-making in this book. He does an excellent job of setting up discipleship as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” This involves challenging every part of one’s thinking.
For Women Only
Note: My weakness has been finding women’s only material. My goal is to learn and grow in this area. For discipleship purposes, I want to make sure a strong foundation is laid in the truth and hope of the gospel before examining women specific issues.
Lies Women Believe: And the truth that sets them free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss DeMoss is a respected writer for women. In this book she tackles lies that women believe about themselves, sin, marriage, emotions and circumstances. She counters these lies with the truth in God’s word. There is also a young woman’s version available.