The Acts 29 staff loves Jesus, church planting, beard oil, and books! As 2021 draws to a close, we’re jumping on the end-of-year book list bandwagon (see last year’s staff picks here) with a selection of our favorite books published in 2021.
We’re featuring books written by men and women who are part of the Acts 29 global community of more than 700 churches as well as some other books that made us think, pray, and delight in God this year. If you’re looking for those last few Christmas gifts or a great read for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!
Books by Acts 29 Authors
Love Your Church: 8 Great Things About Being a Church Member, by Tony Merida
This book is full of joy about what God has done to redeem his people and is continuing to do in and through his body, the church. It will inspire your affection for your local church and encourage joyful gratitude as you commit yourself to it.
Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands, by Jen Wilkin
Looking at the Ten Commandments, Jen exposits God’s Word clearly and insightfully, showing us that these good words are delightful and lifegiving for believers. You’ll enjoy God’s goodness and faithfulness to supply what he commands as you read this book.
Truth on Fire: Gazing at God Until Your Heart Sings, by Adam Ramsey
Do you ever feel that emotional experience and theological knowledge are on two different sides of a gaping divide? Adam Ramsey shows in this book that the more we understand God with our minds, the more our hearts will burn with love for him.
Help! I’m Married to my Pastor: Encouragement for Ministry Wives and Those Who Love Them, by Jani Ortlund
Who better to counsel ministry wives than someone who has walked with her husband through decades of gospel service? Jani Ortlund’s warmth, wisdom, and kindness shines through these pages.
The Death of Porn: Men of Integrity Building a World of Nobility, by Ray Ortlund
With fatherly wisdom, this book points to the hope we have in Christ. Through six letters, Ray Ortlund focuses on our God-given identity that enables us to stand against the dehumanization of porn and walk with Christ-honoring integrity.
The Faithful Church Planter: 11 Essential Competencies for the Work, by Tony Merida
This is the first in a coming series of books from Acts 29 authors that examine our eleven essential competencies for church planting. Whether you’re thinking about church planting or already doing it, this book will encourage you with wisdom and best practices for long-term, faithful ministry.
The Gospel-Shaped Leader: Leaning on Jesus to Shepherd His People, by Scott Thomas
Scott Thomas, Acts 29’s former president, shows that humility, kindness, and empathy are essential for leaders of Christ’s people. If you’re feeling worn out by the demands of leadership (and after the past two years, who isn’t?), this book will refresh you to keep going as you lean on Jesus.
The Whitewashing of Christianity, by Jerome Gay
Whatever your politics, this thought-provoking book examines the historical whitewashing that’s occurred throughout Christianity. It presents a timely and needed challenge to the church even as it points to gospel hope.
To Be Continued: The Unstoppable Mission of Jesus, edited by Tony Merida, Christy Britton, and Amy Tyson
This collection of stories and reflections from the global Acts 29 community includes contributions from Jonathan Dodson, Jen Oshman, Dave Furman, Tony Merida, and Mez McConnell. First published as articles by The Gospel Coalition and Acts 29, these stories reveal the unstoppable work of our Savior to establish his church in all the world.
Making Faith Magnetic: Five Hidden Themes Our Culture Can’t Stop Talking About… And How to Connect Them to Christ, by Daniel Strange
This book examines five themes permeating our culture (inspired by theologian J. H. Bavinck) and reveals how Jesus answers each one. It will sharpen your cultural engagement and make you more confident in evangelism.
Rural Mission: Insights from a Rural Church Planter, by Will Basham
Acts 29 cares about planting churches everywhere—including isolated, rural communities. This practical and accessible book by Acts 29 church planter, Will Basham, will encourage this good work and the men and women who are committed to it.
Isaiah for You: Enlarging Your Vision of Who God Is, by Tim Chester
Tim Chester’s writing makes biblical truth accessible and applicable to our daily lives. Part of the God’s Word for You series, this exposition of the book of Isaiah will warm your heart with God’s holiness and mercy.
Trinitarian Formation: A Theology of Discipleship in Light of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, by J. Chase Davis
Chase Davis applies the concept of triperspectivalism to discipleship in the local church. Davis identifies a common definition of discipleship and shows how churches ought to pursue it as we seek to obey the Great Commission.
Uncomfortable Grace: The Mystery of Suffering, by Mike Larsen
Looking at the biblical book of Job and the stories of four couples who’ve walked through suffering, this book shows that suffering can become a catalyst for experiencing God’s grace.
Other Books We Recommend
The Dawn of Redeeming Grace: Daily Devotions for Advent, by Sinclair Ferguson
This Advent devotional will enrich your library and warm your heart. Sinclair Ferguson looks at the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, stirring up our awe and gratitude at the incarnation of Jesus.
The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World, by Brett McCracken
Information does not equal wisdom. So, in a world where we’re deluged by nonstop information, how do we grow in godly wisdom? Brett McCracken’s insightful book is so timely and helpful.
Fix Your Eyes: How Our Study of God Shapes Our Worship of Him, by Amy Gannett
This excellent introduction to systematic theology emphasizes worship (doxology) as the inevitable partner of orthodoxy.
The Multi-directional Leader: Responding Wisely to Challenges from Every Side, by Trevin Wax
In a time when we’re all so inclined to take sides, Trevin Wax argues that gospel-centered church leaders must be able to spot error from all sides to rightly commend and worship Christ.
A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, by Winn Collier and R.C. Sproul: A Life, by Stephen Nichols
Eugene Peterson and R.C. Sproul were two of the most influential Christian leaders of our time, and these two biographies beautifully capture their unique giftedness and common desire to live for the Lord. Read them to learn about these heroes of modern Christianity.
Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners, by Dane Ortlund
From the author of Gentle and Lowly, Deeper asks how Christians grow in godliness. Enjoy meditating on the joyful, transforming reality of the gospel in these pages.
Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, by Jackie Hill Perry
In our heads, we know God is trustworthy—why don’t we feel it in our hearts? Jackie Hill Perry writes that we misunderstand God’s holiness. In this book, she biblically unpacks God’s holiness and shows that it’s abundantly good news for his people.
The Book of Giving: How the God Who Gives Can Make Us Givers, by Pierce Taylor Hibbs
Pierce Taylor Hibbs is an excellent theologian who writes like a poet. In this gift of a book, he turns our eyes to the ultimate Giver of all good things. Hibbs’s words inspire joyful worship and reveal that, in Christ, we are made givers, too.
Behold: An Invitation to Wonder, by Justin Huffman
Do you ever feel starved of wonder? We endlessly feed ourselves distraction and entertainment but our souls long for something more substantial—more awesome, more delightful. As Augustine famously wrote, our souls are restless until they find their rest in Christ. Justin Huffman’s book focuses our unsatisfied hearts on the one Source of all wonder and delight, calling us to behold God.
10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (And Answer) about Christianity, by Rebecca McLaughlin
We want our kids to grow and stay strong in the faith, but their world is growing increasingly antagonistic toward Christianity. Rebecca McLaughlin shows once again that orthodox Christianity can withstand our questions and doubts. This is a great book for the teens (and adults!) in your life.
Bonus: Two Classic Reprints
The Child’s Story Bible, by Catherine Vos
This classic children’s story Bible, written by the wife of Geerhardus Vos, has been reprinted with new illustrations. It combines excellent storytelling with biblical fidelity and makes a great resource for family Bible times.
The Glory of Christ, by John Owen
Another classic, this abridged version of The Glory of Christ keeps the theological depth of the original but makes those truths more accessible for all. What more do we need than to gaze long at Christ and behold his glory? This little book pays dividends in spiritual growth.