March Reading List

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

I would recommend this book to anyone in youth ministry. The dialogue between characters about what makes one pretty, or not is worth the read alone. There are some great sections in this book that would be very useful when we teach our youth on self image and self worth.

“We’re not freaks, Tally. We’re normal. We may not be gorgeous, but at least we’re not hyped-up Barbie dolls.”

The book centres around Tally Youngblood and her upcoming surgery to become pretty. Every teen when they turn 16 in Westerfeld’s series is turned from an ‘ugly’ into a ‘pretty.’ Tally cannot wait to become a ‘pretty’ until she meets a new friend that challenges everything that it means to be pretty. The story is not that original, but the questions asked in this book are phenomenal. I would recommend this series over The Hunger Games.

“Or maybe when they do the operation- when they grind and stretch your bones to the right shape, peel off your face and rub all your skin away, and stick in plastic cheekbones so you look like everybody else- maybe after going through all that you just aren’t very interesting anymore.”

The book takes place in a futuristic setting of our world and there is a great conversation between Tally and her friend about the celebrities that we would look at as beautiful. Her reaction to their looks as she flips through a magazine is priceless. 5/5

It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get IT and Keep IT. by Craig Groeschel 

What I liked about this book is that it was open and honest about the type of things that we chase in ministry and leadership that are not important, or take us away from our greatest task.

I believed we needed our own building and all the other things real churches have—like a sports ministry, concerts, conferences and our own church van. I thought those important elements would give us it. Then we’d be a real church. Little did I realize, we already had it. God was doing something very special. Lost people were being found. Found people were growing. The church was spiritually vibrant. All without any of the things I thought necessary.”

Having these types of things in our ministry are not a bad thing, but when they start to contradict or work against the vision of the church there is a problem. This book looks to help leaders steer clear of that. For me the the selling point for this book is the continual challenge towards kingdom building first. It is not about YOUR ministry it is about the vision of the church and how Jesus is always at the forefront. A great leadership book that is worth a read. 4/5

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