Eastern Mennonite University

Book and Resource List

Clearly, there are many books and resources that can be used in the formation of the ministering person. We have chosen ones that we like and have found to be helpful to nurture the desired growth in persons’ faith journeys. We would like to share the purpose of each resource in the program so that you can better substitute materials that may be suited to your setting.

Highly Recommended

We recommend that each participant have a copy of each of the following:

Timothy Project Participant’s Guide This is a workbook which includes each worksheet participants will need. It also includes “The Discipleship Notebook” described below. This is part of the Timothy Project package. If you are using these resources from the internet or CD you will have to make a copy of the document titled “Participant’s Guide” for each participant. Print the documents out, three-hole punch them and place them in a 1-inch 8 ½ X 11 notebook. Participants may add paper for journaling, sermon notes, Bible study, prayer journaling or other activities.

Celebration of DisciplineCelebration of Discipline by Richard Foster is a classic book that looks at most of the spiritual disciplines that we are called to practice in our lives as ministers and to foster in the lives of those that we minister to.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found.

ALTERNATES: find some resource that will give an overview and guidance on practicing spiritual disciplines. There are many books on creating a rhythm and rule for your life on the internet bookstore lists. You might also consider calling Kevin Clark or Wendy Miller, instructors in Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary for suggestions.

Soul Feast by Marjorie Thompson

Soul Shaper by Tony Jones

Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us. by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. Spiritual disciplines are for everyone who seeks after Christ. This book offers comprehensive practices for the Christian disciples life.

Speaking of God Speaking of God: Evangelism as Initial Spiritual Guidance by Ben Campbell Johnson helps participants enter into the arena of ministry as the practice of spiritual direction. Learning to come along side persons is an important part of becoming effective in ministry especially in our postmodern world. As ministers we are called to be witnesses of Christ in all the world. This has much less to do with telling persons what to think and more to do with joining persons in their journey and gently being a witness to what God is already doing in their lives. As ministers we must learn how to listen and watch what God is doing in person’s lives and then be able to say, “I hear what you are saying and see what is going on. It seems like God is really working in your life. What do you think?”

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Many mainline churches today have members (both lay and clergy) who find it difficult to speak face-to-face about God. In this creative book, Ben Campbell Johnson combines evangelism and spiritual guidance in order to offer a theological foundation, practical suggestions, and a positive model for sharing faith. Johnson calls for the recovery of evangelism in ministry and encourages ministers to become models of personal evangelism for laity.

ALTERNATES: Books on friendship evangelism or being hospitable.

If I Were Starting my Ministry AgainIf I Were Starting My Ministry Again: Timeless Instructions and Life-Changing Wisdom by John Drescher serves as a launching pad for discussion on important principles and practices for effective ministry. John Drescher is a seasoned minister and this resource helps participants move in the right direction in regards to ministry and life priorities. It is a helpful resource that shares practical suggestions for young ministers as they embark into vocational ministry. It is also a great conversation starter.

Other Resources

Choose from the following resources or some of your own.

Personality Profiles

DiSC Personal ProfileDiSC Personality Profile is a learning instrument designed to help people understand to what degree they utilize 4 behavior styles. DiSC provides targeted feedback designed to help people and organizations build productive teams and develop effective management and leadership. The DISC report can improve service and reduce conflict. Organizations have successfully used it to increase team effectiveness and interpersonal communication skills, as well as to improve or maintain satisfaction.

ALTERNATES: Myers-Briggs. http://www.myersbriggs.org/

Free versions of Myers-Briggs are available at



Spiritual Gifts Inventories

My SHAPE for Ministry by Rick Warren is part of the CLASS 301. It is a gifts discernment tool that we have found very helpful. Rather than focusing only on spiritual gifts, this tool focuses on the the full range of who we are as ministering persons. This includes spiritual gifts, our heart (what we love to do), our abilities, our personalities and our past experiences (both positive and negative). We recommend using only the interview tool “Finding My Shape for Ministry” for the Timothy Project. It is important that the participants begin to explore these areas of gifting so that they are able to find ministry that will be fulfilling to them and productive for others. This is available on the website at www.emu.edu/seminary/timothy/additionalresources.html


Rediscovering our Spiritual Gifts: Building up the Body of Christ through the Gifts of the Spirit, by Charles V. Bryant

Heights spiritual gifts survey (Mobilizing spiritual gifts series), by Paul Richard Ford

Another resource on SHAPE: Bruce Bugbee and Don Cousins

Talent Show: Your faith in full color by Bob Lichty.

Additional Books

What the Bible has to say about Ministry, by Rick Warren is a scriptural overview of what ministry is all about. Scripture needs to be the starting point and sustaining light for ministering persons. We modified the CLASS 301 materials from Rick Warren.

Class 301 Discovering My Ministry by Rick Warren

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Learn how to equip and empower your people for service by helping them identify their S.H.A.P.E. for ministry which includes one’s Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience. Order from www.pastors.com/pcom/class/301.asp

ALTERNATES: create some other Biblical overview of the character, purpose, and means of Scripturally based ministry.

Learning to Share My Story, His Story and Our Story is a summation of the book Remembering Your Story by Richard L. Morgan and should be used as a worksheet. We need to recognize that it is out of our story that we minister. Our story is the container that holds our experience of the world, God and others. Understanding that story, reconciling ourselves to it and learning how to share it in a way that can be beneficial to others is essential. This worksheet will help the participants explore their story and enable them to articulate it in a beneficial way to the group and others.

ALTERNATES: God's story, our story : exploring Christian faith & life, by Michele Hershberger. Faith and Life Resources, 2003.


Celebration of Discipline by Richard FosterBoundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. Healthy boundaries are important in life and ministry. If we as ministers do not set our own boundaries then others will set them for us and we will usually end up burned out. Learning to set appropriate boundaries is essential to being a healthy and effective minister. This resource helps persons explore setting healthy and appropriate boundaries without feeling a sense of guilt.

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives. Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances. Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions. Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others. Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator. Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy or money? Aren't boundaries selfish? Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries?

Small Group Leadership as Spiritual Direction by Heather Webb, Foreword by Eugene H. Peterson

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Members of your small group look to you for answers. They bring their raw questions and intimate needs to you, looking for wisdom and understanding. How can you encourage your group to consider the Holy Spirit's voice? The exciting discipline of spiritual direction allows you to create a space in which the Holy Spirit can move among your group. As you begin to discern Christ's call in the lives of others, you will see your ministry with a new perspective and uncover new ways to direct your group, not just lead it.

Back to resource list