Reading Guides

Important Discipleship and Formation Books – A Reading Guide – Fall 2020

It’s back-to-school time, and despite all the chaos this year imposed on us by the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good time to remember that as disciples of Jesus our schooling never ends.

We are always learning and being formed by our choices and by circumstances thrust upon us. Regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, what are the practices that help keep us focused on the compassionate and just way of Jesus? These 40 recent books on discipleship and formation (published within the last three years or so) help us to wrestle with this question that lies at the heart of our Christian identity. Not all of these books will be relevant to every reader, but hopefully you will find one or two good books here to read or re-read as you (and the sisters and brothers of your church) press deeper in the coming year into the abundant life of Christ.

[ TOP 10 – Part 1 ]   [ Top 10 – Part 2 ] [ Slowing Down ]  [ Prayer ] [ Formed Together in Church ] [ Renewing Our Minds ] [ Other Practices ] [ Staying Focused ]

Page 5: Formed Together in Church

(In Alphabetical Order by Author’s Last Name)


Beauty, Truth, Life, and Love: Four Essentials for the Abundant Life

J. Brent Bill

Do you long to live the abundant life that Jesus promised his followers? If so, then you will want to weave the threads of beauty, truth, life, and love into the tapestry of your life. When these essentials are each present in some measure in our relationships, ministries, vocations, and life choices, then we are more likely to find ourselves living a good and abundant life with God.



Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity

David W. Swanson

In this simple but powerful book, Pastor David Swanson contends that discipleship, not diversity, lies at the heart of our white churches’ racial brokenness. Before white churches can pursue diversity, he argues, we must first take steps to address the faulty discipleship that has led to our segregation in the first place. Drawing on the work of philosopher James K. A. Smith and others, Swanson proposes that we rethink our churches’ habits, or liturgies, and imagine together holistic, communal discipleship practices that can reform us as members of Christ’s diverse body.



Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts

W. David O. Taylor

Glimpses of the New Creation argues that the arts form us in worship by bringing us into intentional and intensive participation in the aesthetic aspect of our humanity—that is, our physical, emotional, imaginative, and metaphorical capacities. In so doing they invite the people of God to be conformed to Christ and to participate in the praise of Christ and in the praise of creation, which by the Spirit’s power raises its peculiar voice to the Father in heaven, for the sake of the world that God so loves. 



We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God

Kendall Vanderslice

Kendall Vanderslice shares stories of churches worshiping around the table, introducing readers to the rising contem­porary dinner-church movement. We Will Feast provides vision and inspiration to readers longing to experience community in a real, physical way.



Renovated: God, Dallas Willard, and the Church That Transforms

Jim Wilder

Through conversations he had with Dallas Willard at the Heart & Soul Conference shortly before Dallas’s death, Jim Wilder shows how we can train our brains to relate to God based on joyful, mutual attachment―which leads to emotional and spiritual maturity as our identity and character are formed by our relationship with God.

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