In the Beginning Was the Word: 10 Inspiring Books Every Christian Should Read

How do we encourage our relationship with God? Some would say the best way to do that is through prayer, others would argue service to the church or simply abiding by the commandments.

In truth, living a Christian life calls us to do all of these things. But, God doesn’t want us to stop there. He also wants us to read about Him in Christian books other than the Bible.

Reading about God is like watching the most epic romance movie. Christian books take you on a journey of God’s grace, mercy, understanding, and, of course, love. They’re powerful accounts of faith that shed light on the darkness in our own lives.

Plus, books like this remind us we don’t have to be great to be a child of God; we are already great because we are His children. Here are 10 books every Christian should read to deepen their faith.

1. Love Does – Bob Goff

The opening to Love Does will have you hooked from the start. His good friend tells readers about the way Goff just does things – from choosing a peculiar place to be his legal office to being a part of the Ugandan government to getting the girl of his dreams.

Then, the author walks you through his faith journey of learning how to do things (instead of thinking or talking about them) through Jesus and people of faith in his life. You’ll feel like you’re talking to a friend while reading this. In fact, you may want to be Goff’s friend by the end of the book almost as much as you feel inspired to follow Jesus!

2. Crazy Love – Francis Chan

Goff’s main point in “Love Does” is all about living your love for Jesus in real time, not just in your head. Chan’s “Crazy Love” shows you why that matters.

It’s not enough to love God halfway or to pretend that your love for Him is more than what it actually is. You have to work to deepen this relationship despite the halfway way of doing things in this day and age. You’ve gotta go all in, and this book can help you do that.

3. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

Do you ever see God in something that others would deem as ordinary, or as not exactly about faith? You know, like finding magic in a sunset or seeing Jesus when someone is nice to you in a busy grocery line.

This book will give you a similar experience. Miller gives you the front row seat of how he turned his life around to look better, but then it actually became better – fully, wholly, truly. Sounds like God had something to do with that, don’t you think?

If you enjoy this, you may also like “A Course in Miracles”, which you can click to discover more about.

4. An Unhurried Life – Alan Fadling

Sometimes, God slips right by you because you’re too busy focused on other things. It’s a common situation in this day and age thanks to all the distractions and to-dos floating around our minds.

God wants us to slow down and see Him. To be in conversation with Him as we go about our day, and to stop and sit with Him whenever necessary. Fadling’s book can show you why this matters and how to make a slow-pace feel natural in such a hurried society.

5. The Cost Of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus called us to discipleship over and over during His time on earth. This message still matters thousands of years later, but for some, it has lost its touch.

“The Cost of Discipleship” brings meaning back into this task from a modern-day standpoint. It shows us that we don’t have to be part of the clergy or proclaim lives of poverty to be a disciple. Instead, it reminds us we can all be disciples of Christ if only we choose to take up the cross.

6. The Circle Maker – Mark Batterson

One of the best ways to live our discipleship is to pray. Prayer can work miracles even when we least expect it to. But, a lot of the times, we’re either too afraid to ask for something “big” or we’re sweating the small stuff.

“The Circle Maker” will deepen your prayer life. It changes your perspective on what giving thanks and asking requests can do, and how to do it in the first place.

7. Skeleton’s in God’s Closet – Joshua Ryan Butler

This title may surprise you at first. However, it’s a proper name considering Butler takes readers on a deep dive into the other side of our faith – Hell.

How often have you wondered about purgatory? Do you question what it looks like or if this great, merciful God of ours even sends anyone there? Not like the author has been there or anything, but he does make a profound case for what the answer to such common Christian questions could be.

8. Tattoos on the Heart – Gregory Boyle

This book is another surprise, but for an entirely different reason. Think of the outcasts of today’s society. Lots of people don’t think much about the poor and homeless they pass on the street or those who look a little rough around the edges.

These people are still Christians, but they find it harder (or make excuses) to take their faith to the outskirts of society. As a priest in one of California’s most crime-ridden areas where gangs are common and death happens daily, Father Gregory Boyle is no stranger to those on the “outside” of society.

His book asks us to greet such people with grace by telling readers how grace changed men and women of crime and violence into faithful followers of Jesus. “Tattoos on the Heart” shows us what love can do when we notice it from God and start giving it to the people around us.

9. Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship – Gregory Boyle

Boyle’s stories from Homeboy Industries are so brilliant and powerful, he had to write a sequel of sorts. That’s what “Barking to the Choir” is about. It’s a closer look at his day to day with these past-gang-members-turned-believers.

Once you get into it, you realize the book is actually about seeing God in the most unlikely of places and welcoming Him into your life. You learn about what ministry really looks like and how being genuine makes it more powerful than any amount of money or mission trips can do.

10. Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis

The final book every Christian should read is “Mere Christianity.” This is a must-read if you want to have your faith shaken a bit, and for all the right reasons.

Lewis takes a close look at the core of Christian beliefs and rattles them one by one. He sheds light on the fault behind our “Christian” thoughts and actions and shows us the truth of what God is really calling us to do. It’s the wakeup call many of us need, and it comes via brilliant writing and deep contemplation.

The Books Every Christian Should Read and the Life We Are Called to Live

At the end of the day, despite the differences in context, all of the books every Christian should read have one main purpose – to bring us back to our faith. As much of a “good Christian” as we think we may be, sometimes, we need a fresh perspective.

Reading about God through the eyes of others helps us do that.

If you want to start reading more right away, click here to check out our blog.

10 Powerful Benefits of Spirituality for Millennials

benefits of spirituality

Spirituality in this day and age is definitely not what it used to be. We are living in a time when more and more people are not identifying with a specific religion.

Still, it’s beautiful to see how many millennials have found their way to faith.

Through traditional religious practices as well as things like worship concerts and international service trips, young people are becoming deeply rooted in their faith as they learn to navigate the modern world. The benefits of spirituality are evident in their everyday activities and as well in their future plans and aspirations.

Are you having trouble seeing this in the youth around you, or discovering spirituality as a millennial yourself?

Not to worry. Faith is at work everywhere, if only one is willing to look.

Here are ten things that can happen when a millennial discovers spirituality.

1. A Sense of Purpose

To have faith is to have trust in something much bigger than yourself.

That belief puts other things in perspective. When a millennial doesn’t know what their next step – in education, career, or relationships – is, they can still trust things will be okay.

They know that no matter what happens, they are a child of God and that is a powerful thing to realize. It reminds any young person that they are called to do great things and helps them listen to what the purpose of their path might be.

2. Guidance and Direction

It’s one thing to discover the purpose of your life, and another to know how to pursue it. This is where guidance and direction come in.

Being a spiritual person means being in tune to the signs God sends out.

It means knowing when to back away from certain relationships and when to not let others go. It also means having the courage to take on the right opportunities as they arise, and the wisdom to know which options aren’t worth entertaining.

3. Forgiveness

Although spirituality provides young people with plenty of direction, sometimes, bad choices are still made. That is why forgiveness is another one of the most noteworthy benefits of spirituality.

Understanding the beauty and depth of God’s forgiveness makes it easier to learn from and let go of the path. Millennials, and all other believers, are better able to give their hardships and faults up to the Lord for his grace.

4. The Tools to Mend Relationships

When someone develops a deep, intimate relationship with forgiveness from above, they are better able to practice forgiveness. Such a strength mends all kinds of personal relationships – especially the one an individual has with themselves.

More so, other benefits of spirituality like love and understanding can make relationships easier, too. These lessons of faith turn into lessons we can live out every day in our communities.

Forgiveness, love, and understanding can be practiced in the home, the workplace, and in day to day outings like trips to the grocery store or the beach. They become a part of the character of every millennial that is a believer.

5. Understanding and Acceptance

The grace with which millennials can foster relationships also becomes the strength they need in times of conflict and difficulty. In such situations, it appears as understanding and acceptance.

These are the benefits of spirituality that allow millennials to stand up for their faith. They are what guide young people into necessary conversations on everything from politics to human rights to poverty and service.

Understanding and acceptance can comfort young people too, should they ever feel attacked or judged for who they are.

6. A Spiritual Community

Speaking of comfort, when a young person joins the church, they are welcomed with open arms to an entire community of believers.

This becomes a strong pillar of faith for millennials to lean on and be active in.

A church’s community is more than a group with which to gather and worship. It is full of people to learn from, be in service to, have fun with, and maybe even fall in love with.

The community is both the encouragement of a person’s faith and their place to be an example for others.

It is where a new believer can learn about things like scripture and service, as well as where those who have practiced faith for years can learn new tools to strengthen their beliefs. Some tools may include things like joining a prayer group or a powerful thoughts meditation club.

7. A Global Perspective

In addition to the community a young person joins at their regular church, by growing in their faith, they become part of the global spiritual community. This helps millennials expand their global perspective.

When a person goes to church, they are likely to hear about various ways the church community at large works together. This may be through mission trips or donation drives, to give a few examples, but the global effects are still the same.

8. Support and Stability

Whether a young person feels called to go spread the good word throughout the world, or to live out their purpose at home, spirituality is always with them. This is where millennials can find balance and support in a world that is constantly changing.

No matter what the new trend is or the latest news says, faith is always there.

It offers all the benefits of spirituality mentioned above, and more, if only one takes a moment to welcome faith in their heart. This is a beautiful truth to know and practice when the rest of the world is navigating its ups and downs.

9. Hope and Love

Arguably, the most beautiful benefit of having faith is the ability to know the purest, most deep, unconditional love there is.

This is the foundation of faith and all things that stem from it – how much love God has for his people. It’s a kind of compassion that we can only hope to imitate, and even that is enough to get us through most things in life.

When we feel as though there is no hope, such love reminds us that hope is always available through faith.

10. A Deeper, More Fulfilled Enjoyment of Life

Whether a millennial is actively engaged in all the fruits of faith, or still working to see all the benefits of spirituality in their daily life, faith is at work.

It guides us in our journeys and inspires us to become better Christians as well as better people in anything we do. Faith also gives us gratitude and peace of mind, which one can never have too much of.

Combined, all the benefits create a life that is beautifully fulfilled in every way.

Identifying the Benefits of Spirituality in Yourself and Others

Spirituality may not be something we think about all the time, but it is always available to us. We simply have to be willing to enter into this intimate relationship with God and create space for Him in our lives.

It can be easier said than done. But, it must be done.

Millennials know this thanks to the guidance of the believers that have come before them. They will be the ones who guide others to faith as years go by.

If you or a loved one need a similar push back to God, click here.

How to Evangelize In Your Daily Life

With more than 200 million Christians in the U.S., only about one in four of them are Evangelicals. While you might know a lot of people who identify with Catholicism or Christianity, not all of them are active or practicing very often. If you learn how to evangelize, you could bring more people from your community into the fold and build fellowship.

Christians have a unique approach to life that helps people to celebrate good times and get through bad times.

Evangelical Christians have strong communities that come together to help other members, knowing that those same people will help them. Being an active member of the church allows you to do the things you love with friends and family.

If you’re interested in learning how to evangelize, to see more friends and family every Sunday, follow these six tips to succeed in your community.

1. Pray for Specific People

If there are people in your life who you care for or bring joy to your day, you should pray for them at night.

Taking their names to God during your prayers can teach you how to evangelize. Once you manifest that need to speak to them with God, He can show you the way.

Allow Him time to respond and let his words move through you. Find an organic way to talk about the church to your friends. Don’t try to force it or you might push them away.

Stay focused on your one friend or family member and eventually you will grow a rapport where you can have these conversations with them. If you have loved ones who have turned away from God, work to bring them back to his light.

2. Get out of Your Bubble

It’s very important to be around like-minded friends and family to help your faith grow and expand. Your responsibility is also to leave the comfort of your inner circle, or to invite people into it.

If you want to know how to evangelize, it’s not by staying in one place and spending time with the same circle of friends forever. Ask what your coworkers and colleagues are doing on the weekend. Go with them to things they enjoy without any sense of judgment.

If they want to see a band at a bar in the evening, go enjoy that evening with them and let yourself be open to the experience. This will allow your friend or family member to want to give the same thing back to you.

Invite them to join your church or participate in fellowship and they will show the same kind of openness.

3. Boldness Counts

It’s hard to introduce yourself to someone you don’t know. If there are people who you work with or go to school with who aren’t already involved in the church, speak to them at an event.

If you’re afraid, ask God to give you the words to help you communicate. Bring together your courage and push through the awkwardness. Your faith is more powerful than a little bit of social awkwardness.

If you want to get right to the point, make some custom religious buttons so that people know what you’re about when you talk to them.

4. Use Personal Invitations

Even if you prefer to invite people to events online, there’s an effective way and an easy way.

We all get invited to events on Facebook that we don’t have time to attend. You might even have a list of things you could be doing as you read this.

Rather than invite people to one big event with one invitation, write personal messages. Bring up your mutual interests or things that you both enjoy. Ask if they have time to meet you at an event.

You could be reaching out to someone who really needs it at that moment. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you’ve only met once. If you felt like you made a connection with someone who is smart or who has faith, reach out.

5. Build Organic Connections

You don’t learn how to evangelize by reaching out to people for the sole purpose of getting them to join the ranks of your church. That’s not a sincere way to build faith in people. The point is that you should be spending time with more people and sharing your faith with them.

It’s not a numbers game. It’s about quality over quantity.

Do things that your friends love along with them. Be part of their pursuits and their intellectual endeavors. Build a true friendship based on trust and confidence.

Your faith will come along in a natural way, and you’ll build a trusting confidant who you spend time with for years to come.

6. Your Story Is Important

Have you ever stopped to think about how you got involved in the church in the first place? Where were you in your life? When did you decide to follow God?

Don’t be afraid to share your story with your friends and people who you want to do bible study with.

People will respect both your vulnerability and your honesty. Choosing a righteous path is a personal and powerful story and when you share it with your friends, you’ll be surprised how well they can relate.

They might have been in a similar situation in the past. They may even be struggling with the same things you were when you got involved. Let them ask questions and let them know that you trust them enough to share such a serious story.

Learn How to Evangelize from Others

Talk to other people in your church to see how they got involved. Everyone will have a story that can teach you something. If you know someone particularly good at evangelizing, ask them how to evangelize.

If you’re want to tell people who to find their spiritual selves, check out our guide on how the church can lead people in that direction.