I don’t know about you, but Cass and I are always looking for great books to read, especially around the Christmas holiday season and beginning of the New Year. This year, we asked some of our team to send their favourite book recommendations, and we wanted to share them with you!
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive in any way, we know we could easily add dozen more books to this list and that still wouldn’t be enough. But here’s some great books that some of our creative team have enjoyed this year, feel free to send us your own recommendations in the comments or on the Hillsong Creative Instagram! Happy reading.
The Greatest Gift (Ann Voskamp)
“We have been reading this as a family December, with an Advent reflection every morning. Each day has an action item that you’re meant to do that day (ok we’ve missed a few days). Today’s action is to dance while reading the Ten Commandments, so that should be fun ” – Cass & Rich Langton
The Radical Disciple (John R. W. Stott)
“This is a book I’m planning to read over the holidays! I met with a friend the other day and they recommended this book by John Stott, which is about wholehearted Christian living.” – Cass Langton
The Rise of the Ultra Runners (Adharanand Finn)
“For any of our Creative Podcast listeners, they’d have heard how much I love running! So I’m planning on reading this book from Finn over the holidays. It might not be a book specifically for creatives, but I know that it’ll help me with my exercise and discipline, which can help all of us creatives!” – Rich Langton
Finding Sanctuary (Christopher Jamison)
“Hello, wonderful people! All of us have had a tough year in 2020, so I’m going to recommend a book that I think will really help you; Finding Sanctuary by Christopher Jamison. This book has changed my life, and I believe will help you find a safe place this season. God bless you!!!” – Robert Fergusson (Hillsong Teaching Pastor)
40 Days of Decrease (Alicia Britt Chole)
“My number one book at the moment (beside the Bible of course ) is 40 Days of Decrease, by Alicia Britt Chole. It’s a 40-day devotional book that’s perfect to do before Easter. It’s a book that Brooke Ligertwood recommended a few years ago, and I’ve been so grateful for the recommendation! I feel like after reading this book, my life with Christ has matured in a new way, it’s been such a blessing to me personally! Here’s a short excerpt from chapter 1:
“Faith, in general, is less about the sacrifice of stuff and more about the surrender of our souls. Lent, in kind, is less about well-mannered denials and more about thinning our lives in order to thicken our communion with God.”
I hope you enjoy it!” – Evie Gallardo (Creative Pastor)
“These are my top two recommended books for worship & technology. In Holy Roar, Chris and Darren explore ancient Hebrew terms where we get the English word ‘praise’. Without spoiling it, they discover that the original words are actions that implore us as congregants to participate in. This book really gives great insight into the historical origins of our actions of worship in Scripture. Chris Tomlin then takes those insights and applies them to the songwriting and song lyrics.
The second book (The Worship Architect) uses a rich metaphor of architecture to describe a four-fold model of corporate Christian worship. She draws richly from Scripture and Church history, and applies it to our own leadership and practice as we design / plan / write / play / lead worship in our churches today! This book has had the most impact on my approach as a church musician!” – Adam Dodson (Hillsong College Worship Music Faculty)
Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)
“This year, I’ve been reminded of rest in the most practical of ways, as I’ve been reading ‘Why We Sleep’. He presents studies and research regarding all aspects of sleep, how intricately connected it is with well-being, emotions, fighting disease and stress. And although it’s not what most people would identify as a Christian book, reading it definitely reminded me that sleep is both a limitation in contrast to a limitless God, as well as a gift; a daily reminder that I’m not in control and I don’t need to be. Instead of having to play a perpetual game of achievement whack-a-mole, I get to close my eyes, be still and rest assured.” – Sebastian Strand (Film & TV Creative Director)
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry (John Mark Comer)
“This is one of the books I’ve been reading this year, and I’m probably going to reread it again this summer because I feel like this is a book we really need to actually take notice of and pay attention to. We are so used to running a million miles an hour, we’re so used to constantly filling up our schedule with too many things. And John Mark Comer talks really specifically about the idea that we have distracted ourselves so much that we actually stop hearing God’s voice. This year has been a pivotal time in the Church’s history and in the entire world, where we actually have been forced to slow down, to stop, to look at our lives and actually ask ourselves what is necessary in our lives.
Maybe, just maybe, at the start of 2021, after we’ve had a moment of summer (or winter ), some quiet and a chance to reflect on the year, that we’ll actually choose to embrace a healthier pace of life. Will we choose to embrace the important things in life, not just the things that we’re doing, but who we’re becoming and who God is making us to be? And ultimately, I think that’s way more important than anything else in this world. So that’s my focus for this summer ” – Shannon Kelly
The Hiding Place (Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, Elizabeth Sherrill)
“This is one of the books that I’ve loved reading this year and found really impacting. It’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom, and follows her life during World War II as she wrestles with doing good in the face of occupation; from helping her neighbour to ultimately helping hide Jewish people across her nation to keep them safe. And it’s her journey throughout the war and afterwards. It’s just incredibly moving to see how she makes those choices in the face of wild opposition. I hope you enjoy it!” – Brennan Fortier (Creative Pastor)