Acts 29 Staff Picks for Best Reads of 2020 Christy Britton By Christy Britton December 22, 2020
Acts 29 A diverse, global family of church-planting churches

‘Tis the season to share your favorite books of the year! The Acts 29 staff loves to read, and we’ve compiled a list of our favorite books published this year. Some were written by men and women within our global community of church planters. Others are books that helped us grow in our understanding and adoration of God. And some are for the kiddos since we’re all raising future generations of book nerds. We hope you enjoy our selections and grab a copy of a book you haven’t read yet.

Books by Authors in the Acts 29 Community

Christ-Centered Conflict Resolution: A Guide for Turbulent Times by Tony Merida

This is a short, practical guide to resolving conflict as Christians. Tony points us to Christ as our Peacemaker and inspires us to stop wishing for peace, and instead, go make it.

Ruth for You: Revealing God’s Kindness and Care by Tony Merida

Because Tony is our favorite Enneagram 3 on steroids, he’s published two books this year! In this commentary, Tony takes us through the book of Ruth and reveals a great story of love and redemption that magnifies Christ.

Better: A Study of Hebrews by Jen Wilkin 

This verse-by-verse Bible study explores the book of Hebrews and shows us how God has provided something better for us through Jesus. Jen also provides a helpful leader kit with video sessions for group contexts.

Enough about Me: Finding Lasting Joy in the Age of Self by Jen Oshman

Jen reminds us that lasting joy isn’t found through self-improvement but in our identity of belonging to Jesus. She encourages all who feel like they’re never enough to look to the One who is and live life abundantly.

Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, and Milestones by Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin

If you struggle to disciple your family, this book is for you. This practical guide to disciple-making in the home will help you create a plan for raising your kids to be lovers of Jesus and his ways.

What Church Can Be: An Optimistic Vision by Matthew Kruse

This is an intensely practical book for planters and pastors who want to build strong gospel cultures in their churches but aren’t sure how. Let Matthew’s wisdom and example inspire you.

Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes by Jonathan Dodson

A book about crisis in 2020 seems fitting! Jonathan gives us a fresh look at the Beatitudes that helps inform our understanding of moral flourishing. 

For God So Loved the World: A Blueprint for Kingdom Diversity edited by Dayton Hartman and Walter Strickland

This multi-contributor book is a helpful guide for the church in pursuing Christ-centered diversity. Readers will be motivated by a unifying public theology to seek racial reconciliation. 

Make Disciples That Make Disciples: A Six-Month How-To Book on How to Multiply Disciples by Tim Garland

This discipleship training manual helps the church understand how to fulfill the Great Commission. Written as a small-group study, church leaders will benefit from its practical instruction.

The Christ of Christmas by Marc Sikma

This fully illustrated family adventure takes a fresh look at an old story. Marc invites families on a journey to experience Christmas in a whole new way.

Books for Children

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

This re-released series of four books is sure to capture the imagination of your kids. Andrew’s delightful writing style and thoughtful story-telling will make mom and dad love reading this with their families.

Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God and Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders: 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God by Shirley Raye Redmond

These collections of short stories of the brave lives of some of Christian history’s most recognized heroes will inspire young girls and boys to imagine how they might impact the world for their neighbor’s good and God’s glory.

Arlo and the Great Big Cover-Up by Betsy Childs Howard

This engaging and beautifully illustrated book teaches children about sin, repentance, and the grace found only in Jesus. An enjoyable read with deep truth for the whole family!

Books We Recommend

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund

What 2020 book list would be complete without Gentle and Lowly? This book has stirred the affections of many toward Jesus. Check out this podcast episode with Dane Ortlund on The Acts 29 Podcast.

Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp

Paul shares his ministry leadership expertise in this insightful book about the qualities of good leaders and the necessity of a strong leadership community to help prevent pastoral failure. A must-read for pastors and planters.

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

The newly-released version of Du Bois’s earlier work (1903) gives readers much to think about. This collection of essays on race is one of the most important contributions in African American literature and a timely read for 2020. 

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution by Carl Trueman

This book is a great resource for Christians wondering how to wisely navigate the culture’s pursuit of identity, especially as it relates to sexuality. Carl provides a history of the sexual revolution and a helpful context for understanding its broader implications on society.

The Wonderful Works of God by Herman Bavinck

Originally published over 100 years ago, this incredible re-released volume of systematic theology is helpful for academics and laypersons alike. You don’t want to overlook this classic!

The Motive: Why So Many Leaders Abdicate Their Most Important Responsibilities by Patrick Lencioni

A unique book that challenges leaders to consider the implications of why they’re leading. This leadership fable walks us through a long conversation between two rival CEOs. Although written for executives, church leaders can glean from this story, too. 

Tempered Resilience: How Leaders Are Formed in the Crucible of Change by Tod Bolsinger

This book discusses how great leaders are developed, and the challenges—both internally and externally—that threaten them. A must-read for pastors and church planters with a helpful study guide available for group contexts. 

The Christmas We Didn’t Expect by David Mathis

In a year where we’ve had to rethink many of our expectations, this book of Advent devotionals is especially helpful. David lifts our eyes to the beauty of Christ and stirs our hearts toward worship and adoration of our Savior.

Letters to a Young Pastor: Timothy Conversations between Father and Son by Eric Peterson and Eugene Peterson

As you read Letters to a Young Pastor, you’ll get a front-row seat to Eugene Peterson mentoring his son, Eric. This ministry veteran has much wisdom for church leaders and is both tender and challenging.

12 Faithful Women: Portraits of Steadfast Endurance edited by Melissa Kruger and Kristen Wetherell

This multi-contributor book is a wonderful collection of inspiring stories of women throughout history who clung to Christ alone as they endured great trials. 

A Multitude of All Peoples: Engaging Ancient Christianity’s Global Identity by Vince Bantu

This book debunks the theory that Christianity is a “white man’s religion.” Vince explores the rich history of the early church in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, inviting us into a fuller understanding of our identity. 

Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus by J.T. English

Anyone seeking to lead their church toward deeper knowledge and adoration of God will enjoy this book. Theologically driven and practically helpful for all who desire to grow in Christlikeness.

Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley

This book teaches how traditional Black churches remain a people of hope through their reading and interpretation of the Scriptures. Esau has written an immensely helpful book for a world struggling to navigate racial tensions.

Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman

Who doesn’t enjoy a good mystery? This psychological thriller is for anyone who loves to get lost in a good story.

Editor’s Note: We believe the local church is God’s primary mission strategy on earth. Therefore, being faithful to the Great Commission means being passionate about church planting. As we near the end of the year, will you consider supporting global church planting by giving to



Christy Britton Christy Britton

Christy Britton is the content creator and editor for Acts 29. She’s a member of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and serves as the discipleship classes coordinator. She’s married to Stephen, and they’re raising four boys together. You can follow her on Twitter.

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