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Favorite Books of 2015

2015 Books

As a church staff, we work to equip and encourage one another with resources that help focus our lives on the gospel and teach us more of what it means to follow Christ. We've compiled a list of the books each of us has found most helpful in 2015 which we hope are helpful for you as well.

Afshin Ziafat

Romans for You Part 1 and Part 2 by Tim Keller

Tim Keller’s Romans for You is a two-part series that walks through possibly the most important of Paul’s epistles. Keller takes the deep theological doctrines of Romans and makes them highly accessible and brings out the applications for the believer.

Packer on the Christian Life by Sam Storms

Packer is widely recognized as one of the most influential voices in 20th century evangelicalism. He has had an enormous impact on many pastors that I admire and respect. Storms does a great job of exploring Packer’s legacy and his contribution to Christian thought.

Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

Whitney guides readers through a selected array of spiritual disciplines including scripture reading, worship, prayer, evangelism, fasting, etc. This book will give the believer great handles on how to walk the Christian life as a growing disciple of Jesus.

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton

Admittedly, I have just begun this book so this book will last into 2016 for me. But I am adding it to this list because I already love what I have read. Bainton’s biography of the great Reformer is the standard read for anyone interested in learning about Luther. This book will give a great overview of diverse and complex character of the Protestant Reformation.

Matt Boswell

To Express the Ineffable by Cynthia Aalders

Anne Steele is one of my favorite hymn writers in church history. In this biographical look at her hymns, Aalders exposes the tension and joy of trying to put into words the ways and praise of God.

Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt

One of our goals is to plant 100 community groups in the next four years. One of the ways we will do this is by living on mission together. Jeff Vanderstelt not only boldly calls us to mission, but clearly shows us how it looks in the lifeblood of a congregation.

The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey

No one has had a greater impact on my view of money and finances than Dave Ramsey. This is a distinctly biblical view of money and how to handle it to bring glory to God and good to others. (Also check out the EveryDollar budgeting tool at everydollar.com.)

Krystal Dickson

Idols of the Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick

I'm sometimes tempted to see idols as just the really big junk in my life. This book helps me identify aspects of everyday life that I allow to become more important than Christ. It's been a great reminder that the gospel is sufficient in my battle against sin and that his grace is better than any temporary pleasure I'm tempted to chase after.

Tactics by Gregory Koukl

This is a great resource for anyone who wants to grow in discussing their faith with others. Koukl shows that you don't need to know the ins and outs of all world religions to engage with others—you just need to ask the right questions. It has helped me to open doors where I can love others by speaking God's truth in a bold yet non-argumentative manner. This book will change the way you relate to the world around you.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman

There are tons of books and blogs that bombard women with expectations of what motherhood should look like. Gloria Furman teaches women to give those expectations to Christ and seek his wisdom alone in how to parent. I've been convicted that, even in the busyness and chaos of life, my role is first and foremost a daughter of the King. It is only in pursuing a deep relationship with Christ that I can handle the challenges of motherhood.

Emily Glenn

Comforts From the Cross by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

When your soul needs help celebrating and remembering the gospel this is a fabulous resource! Written in devotional form, this book takes you to the gospel one day at a time for 31 days.

When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Ed Welch

This book opened my eyes to the greatness of God. I love the way Welch aims at taking our eyes off what seems to be the problem and put them on the solution! This is an excellent resource for anyone battling fear of man.

Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety by Elyse Fitzpatrick

This book has been a pivotal resource for me when my own soul is battling fear. Every time I read it I always walk away with a deeper understanding of the Sovereignty of God. This truth alone forces the soul to rest secure! It's also an excellent resource to walk through with anyone in your life who is battling anxiety.

Weyland Glenn

Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax

Whether you are studying the scriptures for personal growth or as preparation to teach, the same basic truth remains: the message of the gospel is central in all the scripture. The problem with reading the scripture without seeing the gospel is that the reader becomes the focal point instead of Christ. Knowledge and application are good, but the gospel is far more important than either.

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

God is the giver of all things and has entrusted us with the message of hope, the good news of Jesus Christ. In God’s sovereignty, he chooses to use sinful men to take the gospel message to the ends of the earth. God works by his Spirit through his Word in the hearts of sinful men to bring them to repentance and faith.

The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert

This is a great read for anyone that finds themselves working in a secular environment. The book has a great balance of practical application and biblical truths.

Jennifer Grisham

Glory Hunger by J.R. Vassar

This book exposed pride and selfishness in my heart and helped me to see ways that I seek value and significance in things I do instead of in the gospel.

God’s Guidance by Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot is a woman who has lived everything she teaches with richness and authenticity. In this book, she writes on walking by faith and trusting God as he leads every step of our lives.

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

No other book I read this year had quite as big of an impact on me as this one. It helped me understand more about people’s response to the gospel as it works in tandem with election. I highly recommend it for everyone who has questions about evangelism and the doctrine of election.

Jeremy Herron

Gospel-Powered Parenting by William P. Farley

This book did wonders for my view on parenting. Farley does a great job of showing you why we parent with the gospel in mind, and how to see your role as parent through a gospel lens. Easily the best book I've read on parenting.

What's Best Next by Matt Perman

The phrase "work unto the Lord" is given a new meaning with this book. Perman explains how working efficiently and effectively is actually biblical and something God has inspired. It offers so many great tools on how to structure my work day!

Josh Stewart

The Gospel at Work by Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert

This book is a helpful, pastoral resource for every worker. It helps re-orient the way you think about work, and helps provide practical examples of what faithfulness at work could look like.