A Summer Reading Guide

Summer is upon us, but the beaches won’t hold quite the normal appeal this year.  But the opportunity is still here to pop the phone onto silent, grab a refreshing beverage and get stuck into some good books!  Whether you read voraciously or not, get a hold of a book which will encourage you in your walk with Jesus (like any of these) and invest your time wisely this summer. Here are ten suggestions to get you started.

You can purchase any of these titles from our book partner – 10ofThose.com Click on this link to visit our partner page and 10ofThose will donate a portion of all your purchases to Solas!

 Out of the Black Shadows

Christian Biographies are a fantastic way to read more, particularly if you are ‘not much of a reader.’  So much truth can be conveyed through the stories of others who have come to know Jesus – and their stories help us to see the world from another perspective.

Stephen Lungu was born into a nominal Christian family in Rhodesia but was estranged from his parents and abused by his aunt.  He got involved in a gang, which was violent and political.  But while carrying out a plan to petrol bomb a Christian gathering, he encountered the gospel…

Out of the Black Shadows is available here.

 Through Gates of Splendour

This is probably one of the best know missionary stories – and it’s one of my absolute favourites!  5 young men died in the jungle of Ecuador, having left wives and children behind.  But their deaths were not a waste or a meaningless tragedy; nor were they caused by recklessness or unpreparedness.  God has used this story to inspire and challenge thousands, and it’s one that we should pass on to others!

Through Gates of Splendour is available here.


 Life Stories

There are former terrorists and addicts following Jesus.  There are members of the police force, people in media, professors as well as people from differing ethnic and religious backgrounds – all of them being able to confess the same truths of the gospel.  These testimonies are powerful! The stories of how people from such different backgrounds all came to know Jesus as the Lord show that anyone can come to know Jesus, and often these stories can get around people’s apprehensions too.

Life Stories would be a great encouragement for any Christian but is even better as a give-away to someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet!


 NIV Scripture Journals

Ideal for following along sermon series, personal bible studies, and for studying the text in preparation for preaching – this set of 19 volumes covers the New Testament, with the text on the left, and lined pages on the right.  These would be perfect to use to read the Bible with others.

NIV Scripture Journals are available here.


 An Identity to Die For

Paul Mallard takes us to Ephesians to show us who we are, and how that works out in our lives.  His experience and biblical wisdom pervade throughout, and this is so well written and helpful.  As he applies Ephesians to us, he invites us into his own family situation and gives us a solid confidence in the gospel.

An Identity to Die For is available here.



Training Leaders

Building up the next generation is a critical need for the health of the church.  Paul Williams argues in this book that it is part and parcel of the Apostle Paul’s fulfilment of his ministry.  Williams walks us through 2 Timothy, giving us 31 short, punchy chapters giving the key priorities of training, and it would be an exceptionally helpful read for leadership teams, elders and pastors who perhaps aren’t sure how to begin.

Training Leaders is available here.


Willing but Weak

The book of Titus reveals that self-control is an essential component to living a faithful Christian life.  Motivated by the cross, the return of Christ and equipped by the Holy Spirit, self-control will both rescue us from ship-wrecking our lives and help us live more effectively for Christ’s glory.  From how we use our time, through to the use of our tongue, in drink, sex, money and exercise, Willing But Weak shows that putting self-control at the heart of discipleship is hugely beneficial for us.

Willing but Weak is available here.


Sketches of Faith

Church history is littered with seasoned saints who God used powerfully in their time and situation.  Sketches of Faith is a beautiful compilation of some of those stories, with pencil sketches and a timeline throughout the book to help you visualise how they fit into the bigger picture.  This would be a great gift, to introduce others to past champions of the faith.

Sketches of Faith is available here.


The Moon is Always Round

Even young children want answers to the hard questions about God and suffering.  In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God’s goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.

In this beautiful, full-colour illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his unborn sister’s death.  Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life.

The Moon is Always Round is available here.

Have no Fear

Most of us have known the feelings of dread when Christianity comes up as a topic among our family or colleagues.  It’s rarely a comfortable topic, and the temptation to duck the conversation can be incredibly powerful.  But sharing our faith can be relatively simple, and it need not be the cause of sweaty palms! Lennox helpfully shares some of his experiences and points us to Peter who encourages us to share our faith fearlessly!  He comes alongside as one who has done this himself countless times and shares some helpful pointers along the way.

This is a great book to spur us on to talk about Jesus to those around us and would be brilliant to read with others!

Have No Fear is available here.

Tim Foster is Ministry Development Officer with 10ofthose.com.