What Are You Reading?

by Jeff Tunnell

The professor asked the incoming freshman class to take out a piece of paper on their first day in class and write down the answer to the following question: “What books do you read?”  Everyone dove into what seemed to them a simple, although potentially lengthy task, with fervor.  After just a few minutes the professor interrupted them and clarified.  “You are obviously writing lists of all the books you HAVE READ.  This is not my question. I am asking you to tell me what books you have read and continue to read again and again.  What books do you READ?”

In turn I am asking today, where are you deriving your regular input for living?  How do you maintain freshness in your pursuit of life itself?  What books do you find yourself returning to over and over for insight, encouragement and wisdom?  The ‘Preacher’ states in Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.”  We can wear ourselves out trying to read everything!

The list written by the students should have been relatively short and more thought provoking, in my opinion.  The professor was wise and so is the Preacher.  Now, how about you, what do you read? Would you suggest a couple of personal, meaningful titles that others would benefit from?

On this blog we focus on cells and cell church, so those are fair game titles also. What books help you stay the course for your cell-driven ministry?

8 thoughts on “What Are You Reading?

  • Some of my favorites: 8 Habits of an Effective Small Group Leader by Dave Earley – I give this book to every leader. If they follow the habits they will have a thriving cell ministry.

    All of Joel’s books of course. I love Home Cell Explosion

    One book that is a Classic is Apostolic Cell Church by Lawrence Khong

    I have a library of almost every cell book written over the last 15 years. I have read all of them at least twice.

  • I recently re-read The Second Reformation by Bill Beckham. He really dives deep into the why behind the model and puts it in terms that are easy to grasp.

    I also just re-read “The Small Group Leader’s Toolkit” by Dave Earley, which is his follow-up to 8 Habits that Michael mentioned above. It takes the concepts in the 8 Habits book to a far deeper level IMHO.

    And last, I go through a Journey Guide for Growing Christians by my dad Ralph Neighobur once a year every year to inspect my own spiritual growth.

  • I love books! I have a large library of books. My library is my heaven. When you ask “What am I (continually) reading”, I didn’t have to go beyond my nightstand for the title of some books I return to often:

    (1) Living by the Book; Howard Hendricks; ISBN 0802408168
    (2) The Kingdom Agenda; Tony Evans; ISBN 0802451233
    (3) A Handbook for Christian Maturity; Bill Bright; ISBN 0866050108
    (4) The Leadership Challenge; Kouzes & Posner; ISBN 0787956783

    BTW, Randall, thank you for sending me a copy of your recent book, “The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry”. I received it yesterday and just let me say, after our talk last week, I can identify with what the first two lines Dave Treat writes about you in his endorsement of your book… 😉 Seriously though, God did speak some valuable words to me through you in our discussion. As, for your book, I like what I’ve read thus far and I plan to take your book with me next week as I retreat for a season to get alone with God for a time of fasting and prayer.

    Sharing the Journey,
    Rick Diefenderfer

  • Gentlemen,
    Thanks for the “executive reading list” that is forming. It is those “re-read” titles that I like to hear about. Some of your books may not have been experienced yet by others and I hope we inspire them to read them.

    I know you all use the BIBLE as the #1 re-read!

  • Jeff, I kinda assumed The Holy Bible would be too obvious as my main re-read, but I believe I can speak for everyone who’s posted here… it’s our number one re-read of all time!

  • Randall, Amen!
    I sure would enjoy turning a few posts with you (or whatever those things are that you do) Just hanging out would be a blast. Thanks for all you ARE and DO friend.

  • One of the books I read every 2 years is Ultimate Intention (DeVern Fromke).
    It kind of keep the theological scope on target. Right now I am on Basic Bodies of Christ (Ralph Neighbour Jr-a new classic?). One that I often go to, for refreshening of possibilities, is Home Cell Group Explosion (Joel Comiskey)

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