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City Church Summer Reading List

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By: Whitney Nadeau

As school comes to an end and people begin to select their summer reading lists, take a look at the suggested reading below by the leadership of City Church.

The categories below are organized by City Church’s recent prayer points.

As a church, we are praying to become sacrificially diverse (Rev. 7:9-10; Phil. 2:1-4) and theologically healthy (1 Tim. 4:16).

If you are interested in understanding what those prayers look like biblically or how we can begin to move in that direction, please select a few books below to read.  

Sacrificially Diverse

The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change by Brenda McNeil

The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity by Soong-Chan Rah

White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to be White by Daniel Hill

Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience by Carl Ellis Jr.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

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

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland

Theologically Healthy

Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians by J.A. Medders and Brandon Smith

None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin

The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words by Chris Bruno

The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno

What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed by Michael Bird

The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund

As a church, we are also praying to intentionally multiply (Matt 28:18-20) and to do justice (Micah 6:8).

We will have book recommendations for each of those categories coming soon.

3 Reasons You Should Find a Mentor

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By: Chris Martin

One of the best decisions I have ever made is to have a “mentor” of sorts in my life at all times. Now, notice I call this person a “mentor,” and not a “pastor,” “discipler,” or some other Christian version of the word “mentor.”

This wording is intentional and important.

I always have a “mentor” because the person who mentors me isn’t necessarily discipling me. The guidance provided by my mentor is sometimes spiritual, sometimes work-related, occasionally marriage-related, etc.

I hope that my mentor is always pushing me to be more like Christ, but this often takes form in a variety of ways.

I have had a mentor since at least high school that I meet with regularly. I had one in high school, a different one in college, and a different one now in my role at LifeWay and in life in general.

I have always treasured my relationship with these guys, and I would not be any sort of respectable person today without them.

You need a mentor if you don’t have one. Here are three reasons why I think you need to find a mentor TODAY if you don’t have one yet:

Mentors keep you humble

One of the most significant ways my mentors have impacted me is by keeping me humble. This usually happens in two ways:

1) my mentor explicitly says something like, “Get off your high horse,” and/or

2) my mentor exceeds me in whatever area in which he is mentoring me.

This active and passive humbling has had a significant effect on me. I, like many, have prideful tendencies, and it is crucial that I have people in my life to humble me.

My wife does this regularly, and I’m thankful for that. Mentors do this well, too. If you need to be humbled, you should look to a mentor.

Mentors keep you accountable

“Accountability” comes in a variety of forms, doesn’t it? You can be held accountable for sin, for spiritual disciplines like Bible reading, for work activity, for marital issues, and more.

Over the years, as I’ve changed mentors when I’ve moved, all of my mentors have held me accountable in one area or the other.

In high school, my mentor held me accountable for my sin and my spiritual disciplines. In college, my mentor held my mind accountable, meaning he pushed me academically (he was one of my professors). He also held my attitude accountable, calling me out when I was a jerk.

Finally, he acted as an incredibly helpful sounding board for a whole host of topics—everything from personal finance to marriage preparation.

Mentors keep you honest. Mentors keep you in check. This may make you uncomfortable, but it is vitally important.

Mentors keep you motivated

I detest running, but I exercise regularly, lifting weights, walking, running, and all of that. A few Thanksgivings ago, when I did one of those Turkey Trot races, my brother pushed me to run faster than I usually do. He motivated me to improve.

Mentors can be great partners in all areas of work and life. The primary focus of the mentoring relationship I'm in right now is writing. My mentor is lightyears better at writing than I am, and he pushes me constantly to be a better thinker and a better writer.

This keeps me motivated.

Do you have a mentor? Why not? You should. Find one today. You can’t afford not to have one.

Find one that can speak to all areas of your life if possible, keeping you accountable spiritually and in all other areas.

At the very least, find someone who can keep you humble and help you better follow Christ.

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