Scott Hughes is the Director of Adult Discipleship; Executive Director of Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Scott is an Elder in the North Georgia Conference and received his M.Div. Asbury Theological Seminary and D. Min. Southern Methodist University. Scott is currently the co-Host of the Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way podcast, and creator of the Courageous Conversations project.
When first asked to provide a book list for the the Basics of Faith Formation Series, I was overwhelmed at the possibilities. I do not pretend this is a complete list and it is certainly my subjective choices. In fact, I’d like to hear what books you’d add to this list.
· Christian Spiritual Formation in the Church and Classroom by Suzanne Johnson. Though 30 years old now, this concise book is still hard to top. My copy is full of underlines and yellow post-it note flags. Johnson clarifies that we should aim beyond individualized spirituality (that arises from within) but for Christian spirituality (that is passed on) that truly offers freedom. Johnson pushes us beyond popular psychological categories to the formation of Christian character. If I could only recommend one book, this would be it.
· A Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley’s General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living by Kevin Watson.While Professor Watson has become much more known for his book The Class Meeting, many overlook his previous book which takes a broader look at discipleship formation or the method of us Methodist. While it is not the most practical book on this list, it is certainly a helpful guide for faith formation leaders wanting to focus on the patterns of Wesleyan spirituality.
· Spiritual Theology:A Systematic Study of the Christian Life by Simon Chan. The first non-Methodist on the list. I don’t remember how I came across Chan’s work, but I found it a delightful and comprehensive read. This book is for those who want a deeper exploration into the theology of spirituality and spiritual practices.
· Keeping in Touch: Christian Formation and Teaching by Carol Krau. Carol, now retired from Discipleship Ministries, has been a mentor to me and many others. Though her book is concise, it is theologically rich and practical. Though this book is geared for teachers and facilitators of Sunday School classes and small groups, it is certainly beneficial for any overseeing Christian education as well.
· Toward an Adult Church: A Vision of Faith Formation by Jane Regan. Though Catholic, I include this book for its focused and well-developed argument for transformative learning. Additionally, Regan is right to challenge churches who are more apt to focus on children and youth ministry at the expense of adult ministry. Focus on adult faith formation can cultivate a pervasive culture of discipleship for the whole church.
What books would you add to this list?