Do you love to read? Do you want to grow in Christian maturity this year? Then I’ve got something for you – the 2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge.
I put together a reading challenge in 2015 which was surprisingly popular. Many of you have been asking for another one since then.
Last year I participated in Tim Challies’ Reading Challenge. (You can see how I ended the year here.) I plan to partcipate in his 2018 reading challenge this year. (You can see this year’s reading challenge here.)
I really enjoy the bigger challenges, but the larger reading challenges aren’t for everyone.
Plus there are some specific book categories that I want to make sure to cover this year.
Therefore, I decided to put together a list of categories I wanted to read, and behold the 2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge was born.
How it Works
The 2018 Intentional By Grace Reading Challenge is composed of 13 book categories which breaks down to reading 1 book every 4 weeks.
All you need to do is download the list and start reading!
Here are the categories:
- a biography
- a book about prayer
- a book about worship
- a book about Christian living
- a book about the Holy Spirit
- a book about the Cross
- a Christian classic
- a book about discipleship
- a book about Church history
- a book about holiness
- a book about evangelism
- a book about relationships
- a book of your choice
Book Suggestions for Each Category:
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- The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom
- Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabeth Elliot
- Digging Ditches, by Helen Roseveare
- What I Plan to Read: Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, by C.S. Lewis
A book about prayer:
- Praying the Bible, by Donald Whitney
- Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Strategic, and Specific Prayer, by Priscilla Shirer
- A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World, by Paul E. Miller
- What I Plan to Read: Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, by Timothy Keller
A book about worship:
- Worship by the Book, edited by D.A. Carson
- A Brief History of Christian Worship, by James F. White
- True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God, by Bob Kauflin
- What I Plan to Read: Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do, by Paul David Tripp
A book about Christian living:
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney
- Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God, by Rankin Wilbourne
- Every Good Endeavor, by Timothy Keller
- What I Plan to Read: An Infinite Journey: Growing Toward Christlikeness, by Dr. Andrew M. Davis
A book about the Holy Spirit:
- The Fruitful Life, by Jerry Bridges
- The Mystery of the Holy Spirit, by R.C. Sproul
- The Holy Spirit, by Sinclair Ferguson
- What I Plan to Read: Forgotten God: Reversing Our Neglect of the Holy Spirit, by Francis Chan
A book about the Cross:
- The Great Exchange, by Jerry Bridges
- The Cross of Christ, by John Stott
- The Truth of the Cross, by R.C. Sprout
- What I Plan to Read: The Cross He Bore, by Frederick S. Leahy
A Christian classic:
- Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
- Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
- The Mind of the Maker, by Dorothy Sayers
- What I Plan to Read: Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
A book about discipleship:
- Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, by Francis Chan
- Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live, by David Platt
- DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples, by Jim Putman
- What I Plan to Read: With: A Practical Guide to Informal Mentoring and Intentional Disciple Making, by George G. Robinson and Alvin L. Reid
A book about Church history:
- Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther, by Roland H. Bainton
- Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce L. Shelley
- Church History 101: The Highlights of 20 Centuries, by Sinclair Ferguson
- What I Plan to Read: Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church History, by Richard M. Hannula
A book about holiness:
- Holiness: The Heart God Purifies, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
- The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges
- The Holiness of God, by R.C. Sproul
- What I Plan to Read: The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness, by Kevin DeYoung
A book about evangelism:
- Share Jesus Without Fear, by William Fay
- Honest Evangelism: How to Talk About Jesus Even When It’s Tough, by Rico Tice
- Family to Family: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, by Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee
- What I Plan to Read: Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus, by J. Mack Stiles
A book about relationships:
- Life in Community: Joining Together to Display the Gospel, by Dustin Willis
- When People Are Big and God is Small, by Edward T. Welch
- The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande
- What I Plan to Read: War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles, by Paul David Tripp
A book of your choice:
- What I Plan to Read: At Home in the World, by Tsh Oxenreider
- What I Plan to Read: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity, by Tim Challies
- What I Plan to Read: The Greatest Fight in the World, by C.H. Spurgeon
- What I Plan to Read: The Wingfeather Saga Series
- What I Plan to Read: The Chronicles of Narnia Series
Reading for the Purpose of Godliness
In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney explains how learning is a discipline, a discipline Christians should take seriously.
He says (my emphasis added in bold):
“Those who are not trying to learn will only get spiritual and biblical knowledge by accident or convenience. Occasionally they will hear a biblical fact or principle from someone else and profit from it. Once in a while they will get a brief burst of interest in a subject. But this is not the way to Godliness. The Discipline of learning helps us to be intentional learners, not accidental learners” (page 229).
This is why I like reading challenges. They help me discipline myself to read for the purpose of Godliness, and have some fun doing it.
Good books about God should never replace our intake of God’s Word. But good books can help us be intentional learners as we pursue godliness for the glory of God.
Growth in godliness requires a renewal of the mind and this cannot happen without intentional learning – the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge in the things of God.
Books can play a big role in our spiritual lives. It is my prayer that this reading challenge will stretch your mind, encourage your heart, and help discipline you for the purpose of godliness.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Intentional By Grace newsletter.
Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing about my progress in the reading challenge, what books I’ve enjoyed and not enjoyed, as well as sharing deals and freebies to help encourage your reading life.
My goal at Intentional By Grace is to equip you with the tools and inspiration necessary to live gospel-motivated lives for Him.
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