#TheBookshelf - Beth Tays
Beth Tays works in national ministry as part of the Lead Team at 24-7 Prayer Ireland. She also serves and worships locally at St Mary’s, Ballybeen.
Christian Classics - The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
Honestly, I hesitated to lead with this one because it didn’t feel quite as ‘grown up’ as the other titles which made it to my shortlist. But maybe that’s the point. Sometimes we need to step back and call to mind a certain childlike wonder; to remember the thrill of dawning realisation that we are each drawn into a rich story with a part to play; indeed, to let our hearts burn again as we catch sight of Jesus, the roaring lion. So whether out loud to your kids, or simply just for yourself, read these books again! All of them.
Theological Foundations - The Spirit of Disciplines - Dallas Willard
This is definitely much more in the discipleship & development category, but it is too good to miss. And it offers some great theological insight! This is one of those books that other books are based on. Dallas Willard doesn’t pull any punches (he never does!) as he maps out the practices - as well as the how’s and why’s - of living a life that follows the way of Jesus.
Discipleship & Development - How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People - Pete Greig
Hot off the press, everyone needs to get their hands on this book. This is the distilled product of 20 years of learning, teaching, experiencing and growing in a life of prayer. Beautifully written and, with a strong theological backbone, incredibly practical - doing exactly what it says on the tin. This book is equally accessible and enriching no matter where you are at on your journey of faith, however new or seasoned a Christian you are, and will no doubt be significant in helping to catalyse and strengthen your prayer life - and therefore your relationship with Jesus. So good.
Church & Mission - Power Evangelism - John Wimber
There are so many great books out there on engaging the church in mission and evangelism. If their content has anything to do with equipping and releasing the everyday believer to go and minister the way Jesus did, there’s a good chance of a mention of John Wimber. He commonly taught, “the meeting place is the training place for the market place”. This book isn’t about neat formulas or grand strategies. It’s about every single Christian having everything they need made available to them to play their part in reaching their world with the love, presence and power of Jesus. It’s about each of us ushering the world into encounter with Jesus.
Culture & Literature - Strange Days: Live in the Spirit in a Time of Upheaval - Mark Sayers
There are few recent books that I have finished reading and immediately felt the need to re-read. This is certainly one. Mark Sayers is a brilliant communicator, profound thinker, and profoundly prophetic. This book offers a comprehensive overview and deep insight into this moment we find ourselves in culturally and politically in the West, providing a historical map of how we have gotten here and an indication as to where we are going. Looking soberly at the stark reality of our world around us, while the initial lean might naturally be towards apathy or hopelessness, Sayers luminously points out the hopeful, hope-filled and hope-bringing role of the Church precisely in these times.