Resources

Racial Reconciliation Resources

Books

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 Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman

In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does not empower–it decays. Only through self-love and love of one another can God’s justice prevail.

Why We Can’t Wait by Martin Luther King Jr.

Often applauded as King’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. Disappointed by the slow pace of school desegregation and civil rights legislation, King observed that by 1963—during which the country celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation—Asia and Africa were “moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence but we still creep at a horse-and-buggy pace.”

 Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison

With racial tensions as high within the church as outside the church, it is time for Christians to become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. This power-packed guide helps readers deepen their understanding of historical factors and present realities, equipping them to participate in the ongoing dialogue and to serve as catalysts for righteousness, justice, healing, transformation, and reconciliation.

 Letters Across the Divide by Zuercher and Anderson 

A black minister and a white businessman candidly discuss the obstacles, stereotypes, and sins that inhibit interracial reconciliation. Provocative and honest.

Leading a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church by DeYmaz and Li

In Leading a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church (formerly titled Ethnic Blends), Dr. Mark DeYmaz provides an up-close-and-personal look at seven common challenges to creating diversity in your church. Through real-life stories and practical illustrations, DeYmaz shows how to overcome the obstacles in order to lead a healthy multi-ethnic church.

  Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

 America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis

In America’s Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians–particularly white Christians–urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.

  Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial inequities.

 Shalom Sistas by Osheta Moore

In Shalom Sistas, Moore shares what she learned when she challenged herself to study peace in the Bible for forty days. Taking readers through the twelve points of the Shalom Sistas’ Manifesto, Moore experiments with practices of everyday peacemaking and invites readers to do the same. From dropping “love bombs” on a family vacation, to talking to the coach who called her son the n-word, to spreading shalom with a Swiffer, Moore offers bold steps for crossing lines between black and white, suburban and urban, rich and poor. What if a bunch of Jesus-following women catch a vision of a vibrant, whole, flourishing world? What happens when Shalom Sistas unite?

Children's Books

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 The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose.

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

Seven-year-old Lena is going to paint a picture of herself. She wants to use brown paint for her skin. But when she and her mother take a walk through the neighborhood, Lena learns that brown comes in many different shades. Through the eyes of a little girl who begins to see her familiar world in a new way, this book celebrates the differences and similarities that connect all people.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

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 The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby

Tisby provides a unique survey of American Christianity’s racial past, revealing the concrete and chilling ways people of faith have worked against racial justice. Understanding our racial history sets the stage for solutions, but until we understand the depth of the malady we won’t fully embrace the aggressive treatment it requires. Given the centuries of Christian compromise with bigotry, believers today must be prepared to tear down old structures and build up new ones. This video study provides an in-depth diagnosis for a racially divided American church and suggests ways to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people.

 MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop by John Perkins

Racial unity is a gospel issue and all the more urgent 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. Join the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition at a special event, “MLK50: Gospel Reflections from the Mountaintop,” which took place April 3-4, 2018 in Memphis, TN. Key speakers included Matt Chandler, Jackie Hill Perry, Eric Mason, Russell Moore, John Piper, Benjamin Watson, and many others. The 50th anniversary of King’s tragic death marks an opportunity for Christians to reflect on the state of racial unity in the church and the culture. It creates the occasion to reflect on where Christians have been and look ahead to where we must go as we pursue racial unity in the midst of tremendous tension.

 ONE by Dennis Rouse

As Christians we are members of one spiritual family, pursuing one God, redeemed and rescued by one Savior. But we’re also from different races and different cultures, and we’re influenced by a world that is marked by division. How should the church respond? What is our role as followers of Christ? In this four-session study, led by Pastors Dennis and Colleen Rouse, you’ll learn how our reconciliation with God through Christ equips us to be the voice of reconciliation in our world, how we can grow in freedom from prejudice, how to engage in politics, and how to show love in our daily lives. With biblical teaching and honest conversation, “ONE” will help your church discuss the tough issues of race and culture in ways that honor God and build unity.

Leadership for Social Justice

Global Leadership Network Guidance & Resources to Equip You
What is our call today in the midst of all the unrest and violence? To do justice, to love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). It is to respond by doing what we can to make things right. It is to name what is wrong and unjust and not be content to let it continue to fester, multiply or even exist. Here we’ve curated the leadership resources to help you do just that.

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Pastors' Reading List

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Spiritual/Theological Development

 

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World / Edition 10 Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen

Initially written for a Jewish friend, Life of the Beloved has become Henri Nouwen’s greatest legacy to Christians around the world. This sincere testimony of the power and invitation of Christ is indeed a great guide to a truly uplifting spiritual life in today’s world.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for ChristianityChristian Behavior, and Beyond PersonalityMere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.

Simply Jesus: A New Vision of Who He Was, What He Did, and Why He MattersSimply Jesus by N.T. Wright

The Renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright breaks down the barriers that prevent us from fully engaging with the story of Jesus in the Bible to reveal a breathtaking vision of Christ that matches the needs and complexities of our time.

Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church's Obsession with YouthfulnessFaith Formation in a Secular Age by Andrew Root

The loss or disaffiliation of young adults is a much-discussed topic in churches today. Many faith-formation programs focus on keeping the young, believing the youthful spirit will save the church. But do these programs have more to do with an obsession with youthfulness than with helping young people encounter the living God?

The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian OutreachThe Mystic Way of Evangelism by Elaine Heath

Elaine Heath brings a fresh perspective to the theory and practice of evangelism by approaching it through contemplative spirituality. This thoroughly revised edition includes a new study guide.

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation [With Earbuds] Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer

With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.

Other Recommended Titles:

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennen Manning

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxis

Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich

Dogmatics in Outline by Karl Barth

Almost Christian by Kendra Creasy Dean

The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann

Jesus Christ for Today’s World by Jürgen Moltmann

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

Leadership

 

Extraordinary Leadership by Roberta Gilbert

Today’s leaders face increased individual and societal anxiety that affects their organizations. Unfortunately, their training has not provided them with any understanding or guidelines that show how to manage themselves in the emotional chaos and intensity.

 The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In BusinessThe Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

There is a competitive advantage out there, arguably more powerful than any other. Is it superior strategy? Faster innovation? Smarter employees? No, New York Times best-selling author, Patrick Lencioni, argues that the seminal difference between successful companies and mediocre ones has little to do with what they know and how smart they are and more to do with how healthy they are. In this book, Lencioni brings together his vast experience and many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books and delivers a first: a cohesive and comprehensive exploration of the unique advantage organizational health provides.

 Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted TerritoryCanoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger

Explorers Lewis and Clark had to adapt. While they had prepared to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean, instead they found themselves in the Rocky Mountains. You too may feel that you are leading in a cultural context you were not expecting. You may even feel that your training holds you back more often than it carries you along. Drawing from his extensive experience as a pastor and consultant, Tod Bolsinger brings decades of expertise in guiding churches and organizations through uncharted territory. He offers a combination of illuminating insights and practical tools to help you reimagine what effective leadership looks like in our rapidly changing world.

Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in MinistryEmboldened by Tara Beth Leach

Throughout Scripture and church history, women have been central to the mission of God. But all too often women have lacked opportunities to minister fully. Many churches lack visible examples of women in ministry and leadership. Pastor Tara Beth Leach issues a stirring call for a new generation of women in ministry: to teach, to preach, to shepherd, and to lead. Leach provides practical expertise for how women can find their place at the table, escape impostor syndrome, face opposition, mentor others, and much more.

H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle by Brad Lomenick

In H3 Leadership, Lomenick organizes these twenty habits into three distinct filters he calls “the 3 Hs”:• Humble: Who am I?• Hungry: Where do I want to go?• Hustle: How will I get there? These attributes, and the habits it takes to create and nourish them belong to the leader who is willing to work hard, get the task done, and make sure the mission is never about him or her. But becoming an H3 leader goes far beyond learning what all these are.

Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About LeadershipRadical Inclusion by GEN(R) Martin Dempsey

Radical Inclusion: What the Post-9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership examines today’s leadership landscape and describes the change it demands of leaders. Dempsey and Brafman persuasively explain that today’s leaders are in competition for the trust and confidence of those they lead more than ever before. They assert that the nature of power is changing and should not be measured by degree of control alone. They offer principles for adaptation and bring them to life with examples from business, academia, government, and the military.

 Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became Our New Religion and What to Do about ItSeculosity by David Zahl 

In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out. Seculosity takes a thoughtful yet entertaining tour of American “performancism” and its cousins, highlighting both their ingenuity and mercilessness, all while challenging the conventional narrative of religious decline. Zahl unmasks the competing pieties around which so much of our lives revolve, and he does so in a way that’s at points playful, personal, and incisive. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.

Other Recommended Titles:

Lincoln on Leadership by Donald Phillips

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Barton

The Evangelist of the Future by Phyllis Tickle

Thriving in the Second Chair by Mike Bonem

The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown

Team of Teams by GEN(R) Stanley McChrystal

Leisure
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.

The Kingkiller Series by Patrick Rothfuss

A tale unequaled in fantasy literature—the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you’ve ever thought about the afterlife–and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler

Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler pulls the reader deeply into her life in an account she populates affectionately with a colorful, often hilarious retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, relatives, and doctors. Everything Happens for a Reason tells her story, offering up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say Tell Me More by Kate Corrigan

It’s a crazy idea: trying to name the phrases that make love and connection possible. But that’s just what Kelly Corrigan has set out to do here. In her New York Times bestselling memoirs, Corrigan distilled our core relationships to their essences, showcasing a warm, easy storytelling style. Now, in Tell Me More, she’s back with a deeply personal, unfailingly honest, and often hilarious examination of the essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.

 

 

Other Recommended Titles:

The Conqueror Series by Conn Iggulden

The Emperor Series by Conn Iggulden

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker

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