July Reading List

How’s your summer reading coming along?  Hopefully it’s been better than mine!  I was able to make quite a bit of progress with some of my selections for June.  Others, not so much.

July Reading List


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Here’s what I read:

Schooling at Home While Working at Home
by Misty Bailey – I got to read this book at the perfect time!  My days of homeschooling and working from home have become more and more jumbled lately and this book was exactly what I needed.  I wrote about my take-aways from it in Working at Home While Homeschooling.

Messy Church
by Ross Parsley – As a Christian and the wife of a minister, church and ministry are always on my mind.  Hubby and I talk ministry in the car, around the table, and all sorts of random places.  We’re passionate about helping to connect others to God and His plan for abundant life.  That’s why I’m often reading books like Messy Church.


July Reading List - Messy Church by Ross Parsley


I’m not an expert on church models and I don’t claim to be, but Messy Church makes so much sense to me.  In our fourteen years of ministry together, Hubby and I have seen what happens when churches focus on reaching and keeping one group and only that one group.  While those in the specific group are happy enough, an “it’s all about me” mindset in a church is a dangerous thing.  Reaching out to non-believers often becomes nonexistent and growth and discipleship just become churchy words.

Ross Parsley brings a new idea to the table in Messy Church.  Rather than banking on popular models, approaching our churches like actual families is the key to reaching and engaging generations across our congregations.  I love the concept of the family worship table, where Sunday services are likened to Sunday dinner with the family.  Grandparents, parents, teenagers, children, and babies are all joined by the table and the community that is found there.  And we’re not talking the Thanksgiving setup where the children are tucked away to eat at the table in the corner.  We’re talking all generations breaking bread together, at the same table, engaging in the same conversation.  What a beautiful picture!


By treating church like family, there’s no room for elevating one group’s needs (or wants) above the rest.  It’s not about who prefers what; it’s about doing life together. Families do life together, learn together, mess up together, clean up together, celebrate together, and rest together.  If the people in your church are your family, why on earth wouldn’t you want to worship together?

If you serve in church ministry, Messy Church is a must read!

July Reading List - Messy Church by Ross Parsley


What I’m still working on:

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – I’m halfway through this book and can see why this was a best seller.  This one is coming a little slower than normal, though, because of two factors: 1) this is an unfamiliar genre for me and 2) while groundbreaking in many ways, it’s somewhat outdated since it was written in a pre-social media world.  The very concepts The Tipping Point centers around have taken on new meanings in this age of instant connectivity and communication.  I’d love to read and compare notes if Gladwell ever chooses to revisit The Tipping Point and evaluate how social media has enhanced or changed any of these concepts.

And what I didn’t read:

Us by Daniel Tocchini – not sure why this didn’t work for me, but I couldn’t make it past the first chapter.  I’ll give it another chance down the road, but I shelved it for now.  I replaced it with Ted Cunnigham’s Fun Loving You.  I loved Cunnigham’s Trophy Child book and am happy to have his work back on my reading list.

Here are the others I’m working on as I finish The Tipping Point:

Currently Reading

Learning to Speak Life: Fruit of the Spirit
0 of 5 stars
christian-living, parenting, and currently-reading
Out of the Storm
0 of 5 stars
Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind
0 of 5 stars
currently-reading and christian-living
More: From Messes to Miracles
0 of 5 stars
christian-living and currently-reading


What are you reading this month?

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