My wife and I are avid readers. I was asked once again this week for a “gospel-centered reading list”. So, Mirela and I took the time to make this list. If we had to give a new disciple a list of  books (that doesn’t include the Bible), this is what we would give them. This list has a big collection of books that help disciples understand who God is and what he has done. This list also features books about following Jesus in daily life through things like lament, confession, prayer, loving others, evangelism, forgiveness, and service. Lastly, there is a group of books to help us understand the intentional intersection of our world and the gospel through marriage, work, sexual identity, community, gender identity, and leadership.

You should know, however, none of these books is directly about you or your life. We love these books because they are about God, his work, and then for us. We’ve enjoyed these reads because they point us to God and stir our affections for Jesus.

  1. The Cost of Discipleship by Deitrich Bonhoeffer
  2. The True Story of the Whole World: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama by Michael Goheem and Crag Bartholomeew
  3. Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves
  4. Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelious Plantinga
  5. Found in Him: the Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ by Elyse Fitzpatrick
  6. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson
  7. Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace by Miroslav Volf
  8. Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness by David Pawlison
  9. Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul Miller
  10. A Praying Life: Connecting With God In A Distracting World by Paul Miller
  11. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
  12. Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Barbara Duguid
  13. A Sacred Sorrow Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament by Michael Card
  14. You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior by Tim Chester
  15. When the Church Was Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community by Joseph Hellerman
  16. Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller
  17. Openness Unhindered: Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ by Rosaria Butterfield
  18. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen
  19. Strong Women, Soft Hearts: A Woman’s Guide to Cultivating a Wise Heart and a Passionate Life by Paula Rinehart
  20. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller

Honorable Mentions

  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places by Eugene Peterson
  • Eight Women of Faith by Michael Haykin
  • Let Me Be A Woman by Elizabeth Elliot
  • The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield
  • The Skeletons in God’s Closet – by Josh Butler
Brad A. Watson serves as a pastor of Bread&Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon where he develops, coaches, and trains leaders to form communities that love God and serve the city. Brad is passionate about helping people live lives that reflect their belief and hope in Jesus. He lives in southeast Portland with his wife and their three kids.