Gospel Centered Family

Helping families and churches share Jesus with the next generation.

Equipping Church Reading List

Jared KennedyComment

In two previous posts, I wrote about the equipping and discipleship work of the church: What does it mean to make disciples? What does it mean to equip the church to do ministry? What does it mean to intentionally apprentice others? I believe it means that each and every Christian is responsible to pass along to others the knowledge, skills, and gifts that have been entrusted to us. First, I wrote about what an apprentice is and why we should embrace apprenticeship as a ministry strategy. Then, I got to some practical nuts and bolts: how do you identify and develop a ministry apprentice?

Today, I want to highlight some key books on the subject of equipping and apprenticeship. Since Patrick and Jeff have already posted a reading list for 2017, consider this my contribution. This is a selection of six books I'm working through as I study discipleship over the coming year:

Connect: How To Double Your Number of Volunteers by Nelson Searcy with Jennifer Dykes Henson. Baker Books, 2012.

Searcy wants to help pastors create a culture that attracts, keeps, and grows volunteers. His principles focus on how to help people see the importance of serving, how to continually raise up new volunteers, how to really delegate, and more.

Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck. B & H Books, 2016.

Geiger and Peck tell us that churches that consistently produce leaders have a strong conviction to develop leaders, a healthy culture for leadership development, and helpful constructs to systematically and intentionally build leaders.

Body Life by Ray Stedman. Discovery House, 1995.

In this classic on discipleship, Stedman draws principles from  Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. He helps us discover the dynamic purpose of the church and the exciting role we have to play in the body of Christ.

The Permanent Revolution by Alan Hirsch and Tim Catchim. Jossey-Bass, 2012.

Hirsch and Catchim's book is one of the more controversial that I'm delving into. The  authors draw from biblical studies, theology, organizational theory, leadership studies, and the social sciences, to make a case for on the abiding significance of the Ephesians 4 vocations of apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd and teacher in God's church.

The Equipping Church: Serving Together to Transform Lives by Sue Mallory. Zondervan, 2016.

Mallory wants us to imagine the  church as a place where the priesthood of believers finds its expression in creative and powerful ways. She describes the benefits, the structure, and the culture of an equipping church and shows how a congregation can become one. 

Unfinished Business: Returning Ministry to the People of God by Greg Ogden. Zondervan, 2003.

The Reformation restored the Scriptures to the people, but Ogden argues that the job was only halfway finished. Today the church is awakening to the truth that ministry is not just the domain of clergy, but belongs to the entire body of Christ. Ogden shows how each of us is called to express the priesthood of every believer practically in the church, the world, and all avenues of life.

What are the best books you've read about equipping others and making disciples? Are there any you'd suggest adding to my list? Leave a comment to let me know below.