#TheBookshelf - Johnny Matthews
Johnny Matthews – otherwise known as Butters – heads up Craigavon Youth For Christ, who aim to reach young people who typically wouldn’t be in a church setting through drop-in centres. Check out his recommendations below!
Christian Classics - The Cross and the Switchblade - David Wilkerson
The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson is definitely a classic and the first book that I ever read. A true story of a ‘typical’ preacher who led a church in the hills of Pennsylvania in whom God called to give up his comfortable lifestyle and go to the streets of New York and preach the Gospel to the Gangs of that city. This book is an exciting account of how countless lives can be won and transformed through an act of obedience from one person. This is the story that shaped David Wilkerson into the leader and author that he is famously known for as well as the origins of a worldwide ministry that is still transforming lives.
Another book that goes hand-in-hand with this one is Run Baby Run by Nicky Cruz who is one of the Gang members who encountered Jesus through David’s ministry.
Theological Foundations - the Irresistible Revolution - Shane Claibourne
The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne is a great book for challenging our theology as well as some of our patterns of thinking. Shane Claiborne challenges the reader on how to read, interpret and apply scripture and demonstrates the fruit that can be produced when we read the scriptures the way God had intended them to be read. This book explores our roles in social injustices locally and around the world and challenges us on what we need to lay down at the foot of the cross so that other may find life.
Discipleship & Development - Honesty over Silence: It’s ok not to be ok - Patrick Regan
Honesty over Silence: It’s ok not to be ok is simply about trusting God through the pain. This book has it all in terms of developing character and resilience as a follower of Jesus from dealing with anxiety, depression and disappointment to how to live with a thankful heart and how to look after ourselves spiritually, physically and mentally. It invites us to look inwardly at what is really going so with ourselves so that we can be effective when looking outwardly.
Church & Mission - Own the Movement - Carl Lentz
Own the Moment by Carl Lentz. Some may find this controversial as he is a Hillsong Pastor however I have read my fair share of books that explore Church and Mission and this is the one that has impacted me the most. It gives real life examples of how to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ into our everyday, in a culture that is moving so fast that we are literally missing what God is doing. This book challenges us to make the most of what we have right now and how to seize the opportunities to evangelise to a broken world in the normal everyday and what may seem mundane.
Culture & Literature - Disappearing Church - Mark Sayers
Disappearing Church is a challenging book on how the Church has allowed postmodernism to influence and shape modern day ministry to a point where the western church looks more like the world which is a complete contradiction to the countercultural witness that it has been called to be.