Your Church is Too Safe: Why Following Christ Turns the World Upside-Down
(Zondervan, 2012) by Mark Buchanan
The Facts: Taking off from his award-winning book, Your God is Too Safe, Buchanan's latest book calls the church to more high-risk, high-reward expressions of faith. Mining biblical and contemporary stories, Buchanan makes a case for a church that is radically engaged in the world.
The slant: Buchanan longs for something more than "a roomful of people nodding to old platitudes … allergic to self-denial." While many are calling for a purer, more revolutionary form of church, what sets Buchanan apart is that he's no armchair critic or ivory tower intellectual lobbing idealistic manifestos from safe distance. Rather, as a full-time pastor, he's living out his message in the context of the local church. He sketches a vision of a church that truly follows Christ. His arresting prose is sprinkled with powerful anecdotes from his own life and ministry. -Drew Dyck
Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults: Life-Giving Rhythms for Spiritual
Transformation (IVP, 2012) by Richard R. Dunn and Jana L. Sundene
The Facts: An appeal for mature Christians to befriend and shepherd members of the younger generation. Dunn and Sundene address the "failure to launch" syndrome bedeviling Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000), and then offer a roadmap for older Christians to help. They give advice on helping 20-somethings with their careers, relationships, and spiritual lives, interspersing counsel with stories of real-life young people and the challenges they face.
The slant: Most reading about the Millennials is grim. We're told they're lazy, indulged, irresponsible, and worst of all, blissfully blind to their foibles. Amid this alarmist literature, Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults is a blast of fresh air. Instead of simply decrying the problems, this book is filled with savvy advice for those wanting to shepherd 20-somethings in a way that will help them launch their lives and grow in their relationship with Christ. -Drew Dyck
Best Apps for Pastors
PrompterPro: Teleprompters are for presidents, not preachers, right? Well, this app just might change your mind. It turns your iPad into a Teleprompter. Just load your sermon text, and it scrolls at adjustable reading speeds. It displays exactly how long it will take, at current scrolling speed, to complete your talk. It's easy to pause by tapping, in case you take off down a bunny trail, as preachers are app, er, apt, to do. Price: $3.99-DD
Logos Bible: Tech geeks and theology nerds unite! The Logos Bible app is a powerful study tool, with access to over 40 translations and 30 books to aid your study. The real value of this resource library is its usability. Some of the cooler capabilities: read verses in multiple versions with differences highlighted, run queries against your library with the Logos search engine, and jump to passages by typing in the reference or dragging the scrollbar to the desired location. The app automatically saves your last location in each book, so you pick up right where you left off. Price: free, with options to purchase additional ebooks.-DD
Evernote: An organizational app that can really boost your productivity. Much more than simply note-taking, Evernote allows you to copy text directly from a document, spreadsheet, or webpage, or even to snap a photo of something you'd like to remember later. The program interfaces with multiple devices, allowing seamless access to your information via smartphone, computer, tablet, or webpage. Intuitive and adaptable, Evernote allows you to spend less time organizing, and more time caring for the people in your congregation. Price: free, with various options available for purchase.-PP
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