Behind the Scenes - July 2018

Behind the Scenes: Staff Summer Reads

This month for Behind the Scenes we thought we would change things up and give you a peek into the summer reading picks for our staff.

All of the staff were asked: “What are you reading? and Why?” Here are their answers:



In the Bible: Chronological Study Bible (NIV)

Why?  I’ve been reading the Moravian Text for quite a few years and decided to change it up this year.  I wanted to read a chronological Bible just because I love reading scripture when it is organized according to an historical time line.  This Bible also has some wonderful study notes that are rich in secular history and places the events of the Bible in the broader context of world history. 

History: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin; Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr. by Ron Chernow; Grant by Ron Chernow and Martin Luther by Eric Metaxas.

Why? I love reading history and in particular biographies.  You learn a lot about people and the times in which they lived and led.  Not to mention the fun of seeing history repeat itself, over and over and over! Nothing new under the sun!

Fiction: The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson.

Why? What’s not to like about gods, monsters and ships on the sea?

Ministry/Leadership Reading: The Sermon on the Mount by John Stott;  The Sermon on the Mount by Sinclair Ferguson; Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt; Jesus and the Eyewitnesses; The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham; The Lost World of the Flood by Tremper Longman III and John H. Walton.

Why?  I have to keep reading.  If I don’t everything gets old, stale and I get out of touch. Reading fills me with new information and new ideas that God uses to shape me and help me become who I need to be as a pastor and a leader.



In the Bible: 1st Corinthians

Why?  I wanted a refreshing look at God’s grace and the teaching of the apostle Paul given to another church of people who aren’t perfect.

Science Fiction: Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson

Why? Because all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Non Fiction : At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Why? I love learning interesting facts and the history behind everyday objects and assumptions.  

Ministry/Leadership Reading: The list here gets pretty long, so I will just share some of what I am reading.

Why? The why behind these is all the same, I want to continue to improve as a leader and stay fresh in my field of work.

Multi-site Road Trip by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird

Multi-site Church Revolution by Geoff Surratt, Greg Ligon and Warren Bird

Multisite Church Pitfalls: 7 Dangers You Cannot Afford to Ignore by David D'Angelo

Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send by J.D. Greear

Hero Maker: Five Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders by Ferguson Bird

MultiChurch: Exploring the Future of Multisite by Brad House

How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity by Matthew Aaron Perman

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg



In the Bible: 1st Corinthians – 2nd Corinthians; a series of John Piper Devotionals through Bible Reading Plan; Philippians in my men’s small group

Why?  I love the local church, warts and all. Paul’s letters to the Corinthian church show us the ugliness of the church, the beauty of the church, and how fierce God’s love for the church is.  I want to learn to love DCC and the global church the way Jesus does. Additionally, I chose to lead a small group through Philippians this summer because I want to grow in both resiliency and gratitude. I think these are two attributes that will shape the father, husband, pastor, and man that I am for years to come.

For Fun:

Soldiers and Ghosts - JE Lendon

Why? History – particularly pre-industrial revolution history – has always been a favored subject of mine. This is a fascinating read because of Lendon’s insights into the socio-cultural norms that developed through warfare in the Greco-Roman world.   

The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why? Brother’s K is one of the most insightful, challenging, and heart-wrenching novels of my youth. It’s an old friend that I’ve been meaning to revisit for a long time.

Ministry/Personal Development:

Why? We have 6 staff values. One is Make it Better (always be improving) and another is Stay Fit (invest into your personal life to be a better leader). My summer work-reading is geared around those two values:

Deep Work - Cal Newport

Planting Missional Churches – Ed Stetzer

Activate: Small Group Ministry Insights – Nelson Searcy

Crazy Busy - Kevin DeYoung


In the Bible:  Psalms

Why? I want to spend more time in worship in an authentic way, and for me reading through Psalms is a perfect way to engage in this.

For Fun:

That’s Not My Bunny… - F. Watt

Moo, Baa, La, La, La – S. Boynton

Curious George – H.S. Ray

Why? Joyana is a huge fan of the board book genre, especially those books that fit easily into her mouth. One might say she devours these reads. 

Ministry/Personal Development:

Why?  These are all resources that I’ve selected that are towards the goal of making the children’s ministry safer, more formative, and more fun as well as improve my skills and competencies as a leader.

Creating a Lead Small Culture – R. Joiner, K. Ivy, and E. Campbell

And Baby Makes Three – J. Gottman & J. Gottman

Volunteers that Stick – J. Wideman

Not Normal – S. Milller & A. Duckworth

Lead Small – R. Joiner & T. Shefchunas

Rescuing Ambition – D. Harvy

I Blew It – B. Dollar

Mindset – C. Dweck



In the Bible: Psalms and Proverbs

Why? I'm going through the Book of Psalm this summer, because after reading the Minor Prophets during the Spring, I want to mix things up and read from a book that I can get into a rhythm with. The book of Proverbs is great because it is a father writing to his son. Solomon is passing down his wisdom and faith to his son, which is a theme that has been on my heart lately. What type of wisdom and how do we pass that wisdom on to those we love and disciple.

Personal Growth:

"The Road Back to You" by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile.

Why? This book was suggested to me by a friend and it has been incredibly helpful. It has helped me understand myself better and it has put in perspective how other followers of Jesus function. We are one body made up of many parts and each part functions differently. This book has given me great insights on how to love and serve those who are different from me in the church and outside the church.

"The Four Loves" by C.S. Lewis.

Why? I really enjoyed reading "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis in the spring and this felt like a natural follow up to that book. And even though I'm just beginning this book, I'm excited to see it further my understanding of God's love for us and the different types of love that God has blessed us with as human beings.



In the Bible: Philippians and Psalms (back to front)

Why?  I learned so much from Philippians in my Discipleship Explored small group that I want to dive back in and go through it again.  Paul has so much to say about unity and humility in Philippians that, if obeyed, will radically impact the influence of the church in this world.

I am reading Psalms back to front, because I always start it with good intentions and never finish it.  I am very familiar with Psalms 1-109… 

History: A Colorado History by Ubbelohde, Benson and Smith

Why? This is my second book on Colorado history in the last couple of months. I love history!  I grew up exploring old mining settlements and ghost towns with my dad.  A bonus to reading this is that understanding the history of a state and city is vital to planting a church that will reach it.

Non-Fiction: Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

Why? I read The Imitation of Christ by Farrar who was a devout Christian and one of Darwin’s best friends.  Farrar was adamantly and publicly opposed to Darwin’s theories of evolution, but remained one of his best friends.  What a great picture of how we can interact with those who don’t share our same views.

 Ministry/Leadership Reading:

Why? Most of the Why behind these is to learn as much as I can about Church Planting, reaching the community with the gospel and caring for myself, my family, and others in the process.

No Silver Bullets by Daniel Im

Planting Missional Churches by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im

A Better Way: Make Disciples Wherever Life Happens: by Dale Losch

Launch: by Searcy and Thomas

The Economics of Neighborly Love: by Tom Nelson

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

The Road Back to You by Ian Cron and Anne Stabile

Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton

Deep Work by Cal Newport

To-Do-List Formula: A Stress Free Guide to Creating To-Do-Lists That Work by Damon Zahariades

Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg



 In the Bible: Exodus and Numbers

Why?  I want to grow in my understanding of how God made himself known to the Israelites during the Exodus.  I would like to discover what the presence of God meant for the Israelites then and what it means for us now when we gather to worship on Sunday mornings.

Non Fiction:

Vertical Church by James MacDonald

Why? This book is what inspired me to revisit Exodus and Numbers as the book is about our expectation and desire for God’s presence when we gather as the Church to worship.

Heaven Misplaced: Christ’s Kingdom on Earth by Douglas Wilson

Why? I would like to develop a better understanding of the connection between Heaven and Earth as it pertains to the “right now”.

Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God And Changed The World By Eric Metaxas

Why? I am fascinated with the 16th century Protestant Reformation and I love learning as much as I can about Martin Luther.  This book came recommended by our very own Duane Cory.