If you are looking for a great book or study to do with your men’s group, there are many great directions to go. This list of recommended studies are books that have proven to be effective in other JF Men groups.

Theology:

Knowing God – JI Packer – This book is heavy, but it is foundational as well. It sets the importance of knowing God while also taking you deeper into a knowledge of the Lord.

Knowledge of the Holy – AW Tozer – This is a shorter book, but it is a slow and powerful read on the attributes of God.

Good and Beautiful God – James Bryan Smith – This is one of the most popular books in our mentoring program. It is a mix of studying who God is and the “soul exercises” that help us understand that attribute of God. One of my favorite things about this book is that it shows how we develop “false narratives” about God in our lives and how we can undo those narratives to know who He really is.

Behold Your God – John Snyder – Intensive 12 week study which looks deeply at the attributes of God. This study requires a workbook for the 5 weekly devotionals and the DVD/video series (1hr/week). Contact the men’s office to borrow the DVD series. It is intense, but extremely good.

Delighting in the Trinity – Michael Reeves – This is a mix of theology and church history that accomplishes exactly what the title says. It will illuminate the Trinity, and it will help you to see God’s desire for unity and communion at a new level.

The Cross of Christ – John Stott – This is a classic book on what Christ accomplished on the cross. It is a deeply impactful book that will cause you to never look at the cross the same again. A shorter recommendation in this category – In My Place Condemned He Stood by JI Packer and Mark Dever.

Systematic Theology / Christian Beliefs – Wayne Grudem – One of our groups walks through Grudem’s Systematic textbook a chapter a week. It is a deep dive into what the the Bible says on many theological topics. Many of our SBS teachers use this textbook as a reference book in preparing each week. The Christian Beliefs book is a condensed version of Grudem’s systematic book.

Community:

Bo’s Cafe – Lynch/Thrall/McNicol – Bo’s Cafe is Christian fiction of a man’s journey to the end of himself and into a grace-filled community. This book is a great conversation starter for a new men’s group who wants to be authentic and open with each other (or for a group that never has been open). Discipleship starts with being known, not being fixed. This book is best consumed in a single month and discussed in one discussion versus a weekly bible study.

The Cure – Lynch/Thrall/McNicol – Similar message to Bo’s Cafe, but it is better for going a chapter a week together in a weekly bible study. The thought experiment or journey set up in this book really puts grace and community in a new light. Make sure to check out the endnotes with scriptural references in the back to take this study to the next level.

Life Together – Deitrich Bonhoeffer – This book is a tougher read because of the translation and time period, but it has incredible depth when you consider the circumstances in which is was written. A group of secret seminary students following their teacher in direct defiance of the Nazi regime.

Bond of Brothers – Wes Yoder – This book helps men’s groups go from surface level discussions and into very deep and specific places together. It forces you to bring your real life to the table with your men and start doing real life together.

Christian Living:

With – Skye Jethani – When it comes to Christian living, we can miss the mark by just a little and wind up with religion and no relationship with the Lord. This book outlines common places, where we wrap our hearts around religion instead of God himself. It is an easy read that will challenge every man.

A Praying Life – Paul Miller – Books on prayer can be so boring sometimes, but Paul has written such a motivating and practical book on prayer that makes you want to deepen your prayer life so much! You hear stories from his own life and struggles as a husband and parent of an autistic child. Really moving and has great visuals along the way.

Soul Keeping – John Ortberg – This book provides great motivation for exercising our souls for spiritual health like we exercise our bodies for physical health. Ortberg is a great storyteller as well which makes this a good and memorable read.

Margin – Richard Swenson – This book is challenging on many fronts in a busy culture. It’s not just making margin in our time. It is choosing to create intentional margin in many areas of our life.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Peter Scazzero – If you are tired and exhausted, this book could be a good respite for you. We are pushing hard to do all the good things we are supposed to do, but it may be to the neglect of important factors in your spiritual life.

Missions

The Insanity of God – Nik Ripken – Nik’s own stories as well as the stories of the persecuted church will completely open your eyes to how God is moving in challenging environments. This book challenges Western readers in a dramatic way.

Let the Nations Be Glad – John Piper – This book gives a great picture of the Great Commission and is such a motivating and passionate writer (for all of his books/Desiring God posts). All of John’s resources are available digitally for free at the Desiring God website.

Evangelism Handbook – Alvin Reid – This book is both motivating and informative on being evangelistic every day of our life. Another shorter resource by Alvin is How To Share Jesus Without Freaking Out.

Culture:

Making Sense of God – Tim Keller – This is a tough read, but Keller does a masterful job of breaking down the challenges with popular cultural narratives. I would challenge the group to not just study the content of each chapter, but also the approach that Keller has perfected in understanding his audience first before He provides the biblical vantage point.

Jesus Outside the Lines – Scott Sauls – This book provides an understanding of how to carry the message of Christ into places where His name and biblical views are not welcome. It helps us to understand why the Christian message is losing influence in a world that is post-Christian.

Onward – Russell Moore – This is also a heavy read, but Moore (who leads the ERLC) is on the front lines every day defending our faith in politics. He is primarily focused on how our Gospel mission persists regardless of the direction of politics and culture.

Pornography:

Unwanted – Jay Stringer – If you struggle with pornography, or do life with men who do, it is vital to understand the depths of addiction and strongholds. This book is incredibly deep in its research and understanding of the issue. It will cause deep inspection within your sexual brokenness, and understanding this brokenness could be the start of healing.

The Fight of Your Life – Clinton/Laaser – These authors have been doing Christian counseling for sexual addiction for decades, and they have made a very readable and thorough book on the topic. I especially like the chapter on accountability, which lays out how to create great accountability within your group. This chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

Surfing for God – John Michael Cusick – Book review coming – Also highly recommend his podcast – Restoring the Soul. He has interviewed many authors on this reading list.

Marriage:

Sacred Marriage – Gary Thomas – What if God intended marriage to make us holy instead of to make us happy? Gary challenges us all with a profoundly good and biblically deep question on the design of marriage and its sanctifying nature. This book will change your perspective on marriage.

The Mingling of Souls – Matt Chandler – Matt gives a beautiful but realistic view of love, marriage, and sex. He is pretty open with his own challenges in his own journey and very scriptural in his instruction and providing a vision for marriage.

Cherish – Gary Thomas – What if you looked at your spouse the way that Adam did Eve when there was nothing else remotely comparable to her in the garden? This books starts in a great place and helps you to cherish your spouse in a deeper way. Great follow up to Sacred Marriage.

The Meaning of Marriage – Tim Keller – As with all of Tim’s books, very deep inspection on why Christian marriage is so meaningful. Tim acknowledges the cultural norms along the way and brings it back to why biblical pursuit of a lifelong partner is profoundly different.

Single. Dating. Engaged. Married. – Ben Stuart – Ben understands the modern culture and many of the challenges that come in today’s single community. It is direct and to the point in so many areas of dating and marriage.

Parenting:

Parenting – Pauld David Tripp – This book is not a how to book. It hits major theological topics that impact parenting at a high level. It is a great book to read to recalibrate as parents of young children and to prepare for parenting.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart – Ted Tripp – This book was foundational for my family when our children were coming out of baby phase (1.5+ yrs old) to help us understand why discipline and biblical instruction were so foundation to our role as parents. Shepherding our children to independence from us and into dependence on God.

Raising a Modern Day Knight – Robert Lewis – For parent’s of boys, this book gives a vision for helping boys initiate themselves into manhood by surrounding them with other Christian men and intentional acts/conversations. Read this with an intent to create an action plan of your own.

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters – Meg Meeker – This book gives weight to how important men are to the development and character of their daughters. It will terrify you to know how important you are, but it is important to understand it.

The Talks – Barrett Johnson – This book helps parents to recognize that heavy topics like sex are not one time conversations, but an ongoing dialogue as you partner with them as they navigate the minefield of their teenage years.

Rethinking Sexuality – Juli Slattery – Juli’s experience with Focus on the Family has given you a great perspective on why the church & Christian parents have fallen short on discipling teenagers sexually. She provides a discipleship narrative that will better equip your teens for today’s culture and their future marriage while painting a better, beautiful vision for sex within marriage (instead of beating into them that sex is bad).

Work:

Doxa Shop Class Workbook – This is a 5 week study on our perspective of work. It requires 3 devotions and additional assignments each week for men’s groups to discuss on a weekly basis. Email men@jfbc.org for an electronic copy.

Every Good Endeavor – Tim Keller – Once again, Keller is thorough in painting a picture of work and the kingdom/divine nature of work. We can use our work for kingdom purposes, and this book gives thorough understand and stories around this idea.

Leadership as an Identity – Crawford Loritts – Crawford uses biblical values and principles that creates paradoxical leadership. God uses brokenness, uncommon communion, servanthood, and obedience as conduits for showing us our assignments and stepping into them in dependence of His ultimate leadership.

Video Studies:

  • Men’s Fraternity – The Quest for Authentic Manhood – Robert Lewis’s classic study is designed to help a man embrace a bolder and more noble concept of manhood.  (on Right Now Media)
  • 33 the Series – Modern update on Men’s Fraternity (on Right Now Media and DVDs available in Men’s Ministry office)
  • Stepping Up – A Call to Courageous Manhood – Through engaging stories, expert teaching, humorous vignettes, man-on-the-street interviews, and personal insights, these men’s ministry leaders call every man to become courageous leaders in their own lives, marriages, churches, and communities. (on Right Now Media)
  • The Disciples Playbook – 8 week study with Paul David Tripp and NFL football players on what it takes to be a disciple that follows Jesus. (DVDs available in Men’s Ministry office)

The church has a Right Now Media account that is a free resource to all members. Contact us at men@jfbc.org for access.

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