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11 books in 11 months

If you were to say to me, “Please give me a year’s worth of reading – a book per month (outside of the Bible) that will help me to grow spiritually while I’m on the World Race,” I’d have a hard time keeping the list to 11 books. There are so many that can help you grow. I’d focus more on books th…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
If you were to say to me, “Please give me a year’s worth of reading – a book per month (outside of the Bible) that will help me to grow spiritually while I’m on the World Race,” I’d have a hard time keeping the list to 11 books. There are so many that can help you grow. I’d focus more on books that, in my experience, help awaken your spirit. I’d also want to focus on helping you function in each country, so in addition to the books below, I’d probably recommend a book that helps you under the cultural context you’re in.
I’d organize my 11 books according to issues that you need help with. I’ll list some here. I’d like to hear your suggestions as well.
By telling his own story of trying to earn approval, Frost tells all our stories. Until you get your identity issues squared away, you’ll find yourself doing things for the wrong reasons.

Hearing God’s voice  
Who doesn’t want to hear God speak to them? The reason we don’t is often not that he isn’t speaking, but that we’re not listening. I wrote this as a practical guide to help you grow in your ability to listen for God’s voice.
Dealing with evil  
Jesus gave us all authority, but many of us don’t know how to use it. If you’ve given evil permission to hang around you, you need to get rid of the legal grounds for it to do so.
The Heavenly Man. Racers need help moving from a life of self-reliance to a life of faith. This biography of Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian leader, shows how God responds to faith. The miracles he experiences as he goes through persecution show what’s possible for someone who is sold out to God.
The book of “Acts” is the best text on missions ever written. This wonderful commentary unwraps the story behind the story. It helps us discover the mission principles that God put in place for his church right off the bat. As the father of five, I took my kids through it over the course of a year and then we went to Peru for a month and put it into practice. And you know what? It worked!


Always Enough. Having settled issues of identity, racers delve into what it means to live as citizens of the kingdom of God. Can he be trusted? Will he provide in the most extreme circumstances? This story of Heidi and Rolland Baker in Mozambique is a riveting example of how God shows up when we trust him.
Holy Spirit & Kingdom
The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind. Bill Johnson explains how kingdom living can occur no matter where you go
Church Shift.  Sunday Adelaja
The pastor of the largest Europe gives you the principles he used in Ukraine to establish the kingdom of God. They worked in Ukraine and they’ll work in your life too.
 The Shack. Racers need help separating Jesus from culturally defined religion. Too often we confuse Jesus with the religious garb society puts on him. The Shack deconstructs a lot of the issues that keep people from a life of faith.

Everything Belongs; Richard Rohr
God uses everything; there are no dead-ends; there is no wasted energy. Everything is recycled. The world tells you that you are all sorts of things that have nothing to do with who you really are. 
Listening To Your Life; Fredrick Buechner
A series of daily devotionals. You feel like you’re reading poetry. Whether he’s comparing humans to beetles to explain theology, or talking about why you should drink wine and not grape juice for communion, he’s brilliant. I don’t know if it’s possible for wisdom to rub off just by reading it over and over, if it is, then put this one next to your Bible.

Comments (8)

  • Thanks Seth. Looking through the summary I realized I’ve spent quality time with seven people on the list. You’d be first in that category. Blessings always…

  • You need two books a month, b/c I’d recommend all of these plus add the following:

    The RelentlessTenderness of Jesus – Manning
    Falling Upward – Rohr
    Victory over the Darkness – Anderson
    Embracing the Father’s Heart – Frost
    Adrenaline and Stress – Hart
    Leadership and Self Deception – Arbinger Institute
    Love Beyond Reason – Ortberg
    Spiritual Leadership – Sanders
    Surprised by the Voice of God – Deere
    Culture of Honor – Silk
    The Great Divorce – Lewis
    Orthodoxy – Chesterton

  • …I’ve read a handful of these books, and I think the one that impressed me the most was Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship. So good!

  • Sharing good books is one of the top forms of caring for people, in my personal opinion. Thanks for writing this!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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