RESOURCES: Must Read Books

The Purpose Driven Life

The Purpose Driven Life*

by Rick Warren

You are not an accident. Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind, and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever!

Self-help books often suggest that you try to discover the meaning and purpose of your life by looking within yourself, but Rick Warren says that is the wrong place to start. You must begin with God, your Creator, and his reasons for creating you. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense.

This book will help you understand why you are alive and God's amazing plan for you both here and now, and for eternity. Rick Warren will guide you through a personal 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: What on earth am I here for? Knowing God's purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and, most importantly, prepare you for eternity.

The Purpose-Driven Life is a blueprint for Christian living in the 21st century based on God's eternal purposes, not cultural values. Using over 1,200 scriptural quotes and references, it challenges the conventional definitions of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. In the tradition of Oswald Chambers, Rick Warren offers distilled wisdom on the essence of what life is all about.

This is a book of hope and challenge that you will read and re-read, and it will be a classic treasured by generations to come.

ISBN: 9780310205715
2002 Zondervan
336 pages
Dangerous Surrender

Dangerous Surrender*

by Kay Warren

Kay Warren had a plan. Together with her husband, Rick Warren, author of the megaseller The Purpose Driven Life, she planned that after her kids were grown, she’d travel the world, teaching and encouraging couples in ministry. It was a good plan. But it wasn’t what God had in mind for her.

In a startling wake-up call, Kay discovered the shocking realities of the AIDS pandemic in Africa while reading a magazine. She cried out to God, “Why are you bothering me with this? There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just an ordinary person. What could one person do about such a gigantic problem?” That began the struggle—first to avoid God’s call and then to surrender herself to God.

Giving in to God isn’t easy. It’s not for cowards. It’s the boldest, riskiest step you’ll ever take. This dangerous surrender can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy, but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before. A rare book by an uncommon woman, Dangerous Surrender will shake, challenge, and stretch you to become more than you’ve ever imagined. Your world is waiting.

ISBN: 9780310258902
2007 Zondervan
256 pages
The Way of a Worshiper

The Way of a Worshiper*

by Buddy Owens

This book is not about music. It's not even about going to church. It's about living your life as an offering of worship to God. It's about tapping into the source of power to live the Christian life. And it's about discovering the secret to friendship with God.

Through his very practical, engaging, and at times surprising insights, Buddy shares truths from Scripture and from life that will help you understand in a new and deeper way just what it means to be a worshiper.

Though this looks like a short book, it takes a long time to read, not because it is complicated and theoretical, but because it gives you so much to think about. Over and over, you’ll find yourself saying, 'Yes! That's right! Of course! I can do this!' Read this book slowly—a chapter a day is about the right pace. Read it with a pencil in your hand so you can underline the thoughts and phrases that are especially meaningful to you. Pray the prayers at the end of each chapter, and put into practice what Buddy teaches you in this book. Your life will be richer for it, and your friendship with God will grow deeper and stronger.

God is looking for worshipers. His invitation to friendship is open and genuine. Will you take him up on his offer? Will you give yourself to him in worship? Then come walk the way of a worshiper and discover the secret to friendship with God.

ISBN: 1417499990
2002 Purpose Driven Publishing
140 pages
S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life

S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life*

by Erik Rees

Rick Warren’s bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life, described God’s five purposes for every Christian. Now Erik Rees helps you discover God’s unique purpose for your life based on the way God has shaped you. He made you marvelously unique for a reason. Tap into that reason and into the secrets of your own deeply personal makeup—the remarkable ensemble of passions, talents, experiences, temperament, and other components that work together to make you who you are—and you’ll discover the path to a life of unimagined purpose, impact, and fulfillment.

In this eye-opening, empowering, and liberating book, Rees shows you how to uncover God’s most powerful and effective means of advancing his kingdom on earth: your own irreplaceable, richly detailed personal design.

Based on the purpose of ministry outlined in The Purpose Driven Life, this inspiring guidebook gives you the tools to:

  • Unlock your God-given potential
  • Uncover your specific kingdom purpose
  • Unfold a kingdom plan for your life

Filled with Scripture and real-life stories, S.H.A.P.E. presents a series of challenges that will guide you through the process of discovering your S.H.A.P.E.—your personal blend of Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences. You’ll learn how to apply these attributes in ways that bring confidence, freedom, clarity, and significance that can only come from your Creator.

Book includes access to free online S.H.A.P.E. assessment.

ISBN: 9780310270096
2006 Zondervan
256 pages
Mere Christianity

Mere Christianity*

by C.S. Lewis

Arguably the 20th century's most influential Christian writer, C.S. Lewis sought to explain and defend the beliefs that nearly all Christians at all times hold in common. His simple yet deeply profound classic, originally delivered as a series of radio broadcasts, is a book to be thoroughly digested by believers and generously shared with skeptics.

ISBN: 9780060652920
2001 Zondervan/harpersanfransico
240 pages
The Ragamuffin Gospel

The Ragamuffin Gospel*

by Brennan Manning

Most of us believe in God's grace—in theory. But somehow we can't seem to apply it in our daily lives. We continue to see Him as a small-minded bookkeeper, tallying our failures and successes on a score sheet. Yet God gives us His grace, willingly, no matter what we've done. We come to Him as ragamuffins—dirty, bedraggled, and beat-up. And when we sit at His feet, He smiles upon us, the chosen objects of His "furious love." Brennan Manning's now-classic meditation on grace and what it takes to access it—simple honesty—has changed thousands of lives. It will change yours, too.

ISBN: 9781590525029
2005 WaterBrook Press
272 pages
The Case For Christ

The Case For Christ*

by Lee Strobel

A seasoned journalist chases down the biggest story in history. Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like; How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?

Strobel's tough, point-blank questions make this Gold Medallion-winning book read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. But it's not fiction. It's a riveting quest for the truth about history's most compelling figure. What will your verdict be in The Case for Christ? Lee Strobel probes with bulldog-like tenacity the evidence for the truth of biblical Christianity. Lee Strobel asks the questions a tough-minded skeptic would ask. Every inquirer should have it.

ISBN: 0310209307
1998 Zondervan
304 pages
Power Through Prayer

Power Through Prayer*

by Edward M. Bounds

"What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use; men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men; men of prayer." (from Chapter 1: "Men of Prayer Needed" )

Some Christians insist that 19th-century American pastor Edward M. Bounds offered a more profound understanding of prayer for modern believers than any other contemporary religious thinker. This classic book on personal communication with God explores how sincere prayer brings faith to life. It examines prayer, why a praying ministry will be successful, prayer and devotion united, an example of devotion, the necessity of preparing the heart, grace from the heart rather than the head, and much more. Seekers of wisdom are sure to find words of truth in this inspirational volume.

EDWARD McKENDREE BOUNDS (1835 to 1913) was an American Methodist minister and writer who served as a chaplain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He wrote several best-selling books on prayer, including The Necessity of Prayer, Possibilities of Prayer, The Weapon of Prayer, and others.

ISBN: 1602065411
2007 Cosimo
132 pages
The Pursuit of God

The Pursuit of God*

by A.W. Tozer

In the muddle of day-to-day life, have you somehow forgotten that Christianity is a living, vibrant relationship with a personal God? In this classic bestseller and recipient of both the ECPA Gold and Platinum Book Awards, The Pursuit of God reminds and challenges you to renew your relationship with your loving God.

In each of the 10 chapters, Tozer explains one aspect of hungering for God and ends with a prayer. This classic was written during a train trip from Chicago to McAllen, Texas, in the late 1940s. Tozer wrote all night, the words coming to him as fast as he could put them down.

ISBN: 9781600660153
2006 Wingspread Publishers
121 pages
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life*

by Don Whitney

It's not uncommon for an accomplished musician to be able to sit down in front of a new piece of music and play it through without a hitch. To make it seem easy, as if it required no effort. Yet the "freedom" to play with such skill comes only after years of disciplined practice. In the same way, the freedom to grow in godliness—to naturally express Christ's character through your own personality—is in large part dependent on a deliberate cultivation of the spiritual disciplines. Far from being legalistic, restrictive, or binding, as they are often perceived, the spiritual disciplines are actually the means to unparalleled spiritual liberty.

So if you'd like to embark on a lifelong quest for godliness, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will help you on your way. Based on the rich heritage left us by the early church fathers, the Puritan writers, and Jesus Christ Himself, Whitney takes you through a carefully selected array of disciplines that includes Scripture reading, prayer, worship, Scripture meditation, evangelism, serving, stewardship, Scripture application, fasting, silence and solitude, journaling, and learning. By illustrating why the disciplines are important, showing how each one will help you grow in godliness, and offering practical suggestions for cultivating them on a long-term basis, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will provide you with a refreshing opportunity to embrace life's greatest pursuit—the pursuit of holiness—through a lifelong delight in the disciplines.

ISBN: 9781576830277
1997 NavPress
266 pages

*Available in the Pavilion