19 Books Your Church Library Can’t Be Without


Church leaders, are you in the habit of regularly updating your church’s library? Or do the same books that have been in there for 15 years continue to collect dust?

A church library can either be an outdated “given” that everyone in your church body takes for granted, or it can be a regularly updated, incredible resource for the spiritual and personal growth of your congregation (and your church staff!).

Take the time to show your church library a little love. Spruce it up, keep it updated, and use it for fun, smaller-scale church events. Create incentives for your church staff members to read a certain number of books a year from your church library.

If your church library doesn’t already have the following books, run – don’t walk – and purchase them for your church body.

In no particular order, here are the 19 books your church library cannot be without – and we suggest multiple copies of each. 

1. Renovation Of The Heart: Putting On The Character Of Christ

This bestseller by Dallas Willard beautifully explores identity, spiritual growth, and transforming into “intentional apprentices of Jesus.”

2. Mere Christianity

Perhaps the most famous of C.S. Lewis’ works, Mere Christianity is a powerful and persuasive apologetic for the faith. And make sure to include Lewis’ Space Trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia for the younger readers in your church body. 

3. Jesus Calling

Written by missionary Sarah Young, this popular yearly devotional is uniquely written from Jesus’ point of view.

4. The Cost Of Discipleship

This classic by German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was written during the Nazi regime and uses the Sermon on the Mount to talk about the difference between “cheap grace” and “costly grace.”

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5. In The Name Of Jesus

One of the most popular works by Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus explores the concept of Christian leadership in new ways in the context of community. 

6. Basic Christianity

This classic by John Stott was named one of Christianity Today's "Books of the Century." It presents in a clear and concise way the historical facts behind the Christian faith.

7. The Purpose Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For?

This popular spiritual guide by Saddleback Church's pastor Rick Warren answers the big life questions of existence, significance, and life purpose.

8. The Reason For God: Belief In An Age Of Skepticism

Dubbed "the Mere Christianity of this century," Tim Keller's understandable apologetics of the faith in the context of today's culture is a must-read.

9. What’s So Amazing About Grace? 

A great book by Philip Yancey to understand undeserved grace and what it looks like in action in the Christian's life.

10. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

This is a great Bible Study or small group resource by Pete Scazerro, integrating emotional health with spiritual maturity.

11. If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities

Mark Batterson enthusiastically dives into Romans 8 to transform our lives of guilt and regret into lives filled with the confidence that God is for us.

12. Simply Jesus

Bestselling author N.T. Wright explores in new ways who Jesus was and how to tell his story today.

13. Celebration Of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth

Explaining the classic Christian disciplines and how we can utilize them today, this book by Richard Foster has been called the best contemporary work on Christian spirituality.

14. Just Walk Across the Room

Bill Hybels has a fresh take on personal evangelism and how to reach people with Christ's love in our every day lives.

15. The Ragamuffin Gospel

This book by Brennan Manning is all about God's "furious love" for us despite all of our faults and messiness.

16. Through Gates Of Splendor

This list would be remiss not to include the biography of missionary Jim Elliot, marytered while ministering in Ecuador, written by his wife Elizabeth Elliot.

17. The Total Money Makeover

One of the best things Christians and churches can do once they're out of spiritual bondage is to get out of financial bondage. This best-seller by our friend Dave Ramsey is an invalauble resource for helping your congregation get out of debt.

18. The Case For Christ

Journalist Lee Strobel was an atheist who became a believer in Jesus. In The Case For Christ, Strobel unflinchingly seeks the truth about the evidence for the Christian faith.

19. SEARCH: The Pastoral Search Committee Handbook

Your church needs to be equipped ahead of time for the eventual day they'll need to find their next leader. This new book by William Vanderbloemen is the most comprehensive, practical resource for how to find a pastor.

Search: The Pastor Search Committee Handbook