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Ten classics every collegiate ministry worker should devour

I know I’m showing my age in revealing this list of my “goldie oldies,” but these books have stood the test of time.

Don’t think you must follow every newfangled concept or subscribe to the latest and greatest secrets to reaching the millennials.

The basics will always be the basics, and these authors are field generals who have definitely walked the talk before telling us how to.

Put these on your “to read” list for this year and see if your convictions are not deepened and enriched.

His Intimate Presence by Bill Bright

Founder of Cru in 1951, Dr. Bright was a man who spent time with God, dedicated himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, shared the gospel wherever he went, and created a world-wide network of staff and volunteers who were committed to fulfill the Great Commission.

In this book, he teaches us that it is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that is the key.

No Easy Road by Dick Eastman

This small, pithy, but powerful little paperback will motivate you to make time in your life each day to seek God’s face and to deeply intercede on behalf of those whom you are trying to reach or disciple.

Dick Eastman has challenged and trained millions of believers in hundreds of nations in prayer, claiming it is the “hour that changes the world!”

The Navigator by Robert Foster

Robert Foster takes a biographical look at the visionary founder of the Navigators, Dawson Trotman.

He goes area by area through Daw’s life and ministry, sharing principles and passages to challenge us to wake up from our complacent lives and become a disciplined, devoted, reproducing disciple of Jesus Christ.

Also consider a similar book by Betty Lee Skinner, titled Daws, with a detailed chronological look at his life.

The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell

I literally memorized this book as a college student, trying to understand how to defend the authority of the Word, deity, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and present the legendary “Lord, Liar, or Lunatic” trilemma illustration.

McDowell has been reaching out to and writing for college students and ministers for decades. This one is for the ages!

Disciples Are Made Not Born by Walt Henrichsen

I used to say, “In addition to your Bible, this is the book every Christian worker needs to have and use.” I really still believe that.

Henrichsen, a former pastor and Navigator rep, put in black and white the basics of being and making disciples.

I have taken myriads of small groups through this book digesting and applying its truths and challenges.

The Lost Art of Disciple Making by LeRoy Eims

Sorry to be highlighting the Navigators so much, but they have produced some of the most biblical and practical discipleship tools ever.

Eims, a former Marine and Navigators rep, builds upon Henrichsen’s book, and goes into step-by-step details of how to establish and equip reproducing disciples.

The Top 30 discipling topics/lesson plans in the appendix is worth the price of the book.

The Fuel and the Flame by Steve Shadrach

I’m a tad embarrassed to include my own book, but it was written a century ago. (Actually 2003)

For years I had been looking for a book for collegiate workers that provided an easy to follow guide for how to launch a ministry on a campus, win students to Christ, equip them as disciplemakers, and send them out to be world changers. I couldn’t ever find that book, so I forced myself to sit down and write it.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

I did a doctoral degree in leadership and the seminary professors would scoff at Maxwell’s stuff and instead assign us some of the driest reading material ever.

I wanted to shout at these instructors, “Get a life!” because this former pastor-turned-leadership-guru knows human nature better than anyone.

If you can meditate and apply his principles in your ministry and relationships, you will see powerful results.

Operation World by Jason Mandryk

The researchers and writers of this prayer tool have done the body of Christ a huge favor.

The great need in the world is more laborers and Jesus says they will arise if we ask Him.

This thick and exhaustive resource lists every country in the world and gives specifics on demographics, people groups, obstacles to the gospel, and intercession needs.

Get your students praying for the world and watch what happens!

In This Generation by Todd Ahrend

This is the newest of the books in my list, but I couldn’t resist including it.

My good friend Todd did a masterful job unpacking the greatest mobilization of college students in history—the Student Volunteer Movement.

Yes, evangelism is essential and disciple making is critical, but if our ministry objective isn’t tied to reaching the whole world, our vision is too small.


BONUS (I just couldn’t help adding three more gems):

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement by Winter and Hawthorne

If you’ve never signed up or taken this course, go to Perspectives.org and do so now. In the meantime, get this book and start reading.

Our lives were turned upside down when my wife and I took this course and read this book. We learned stuff we had never heard in church or seminary.

Immerse yourself in the biblical, historical, cultural, and strategic dimensions of the World Christian Movement. You’ll never be the same!

How to Lead Small Group Bible Studies by the Navigators

Become a master at studying the Bible, crafting awesome questions, and leading small group discussions.

I know you’d like to be the next Louie Giglio, but helping students self-discover truths from the Word as a result of your questions is much better than just teaching them.

Gobble up and apply this little paperback and you’ll spend a lifetime of seeing the Holy Spirit use the Scriptures to transform lives.

Knowing God Personally by Bill Bright

Why include a tiny booklet in this list of heavyweights? Well, you need to have more than one way to present the good news.

Millions have come to Christ through this simple explanation of the gospel—including me!

The Bridge diagram emphasizes the saving work of Jesus, but the Four Laws helps us grasp the lordship of Jesus and then provides a very clear way to help someone make a salvation decision.

  • Steve Shadrach

    You mean to tell me I left off “Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman??? Unforgiveable!!! We will have to retitle the article: My TOP ELEVEN Classics…..!!!

    • Andrew Knight

      Yes, 11 it is! 🙂