Mark Dever encourages pastors to read 9 books with men in their church for 9 months out of the year, not including June to August (see video below).
When I first saw this in my news feed, I thought I’m too busy reading required texts from my seminary courses to participate. But I have decided to take on the challenge and join men from my church to read one book each month, write a short 3-page review, and have a discussion over breakfast.
There at least four advantages for me in joining this reading challenge.
- Reading together with men in the church will strengthen the entire church as we each share what we are learning with our own family and with other members in the church.
- Engaging in the discussion will increase my knowledge about church issues from the standpoints of other men, and hopefully, my own observations would also be helpful for others.
- I love the men in our church. So, another time to engage in conversation with them about the church is another opportunity I don’t want to miss out on! This is one way of stirring up one another to love and good works.
- Lastly, being part of a reading group like this is something I plan to duplicate if the Lord leads me to pastor a church in the Philippines after my seminary education.
List of Books
- Mark Dever, The Church: The Gospel Made Visible (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2012).
- Mark Dever and Jamie Dunlop, The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015).
- J. Mack Stiles, Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014)
- Mark Dever, Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016)
- Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represent Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012).
- Jonathan Leeman, Don’t Fire Your Church Members: The Case for Congregationalism (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2016).
- John Onwuchekwa, Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018).
- Michael Lawrence, Conversion: How God Creates a People (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
- Andy Johnson, Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).