Outreach Resources of the Year: Spiritual Growth

The Outreach Resources of the Year honors the past year’s best books that emphasize outreach-oriented ideas. 

Last fall we invited publishers and authors to submit resources that released between Nov. 1, 2022, and Oct. 31, 2023. The Outreach magazine editorial team then placed the qualifying titles into 13 key categories for review by expert panelists in each field. After thoughtful consideration, they selected one or more entries as an Outreach Resource of the Year and spotlighted some titles as “Also Recommended.” 

Here are the top Spiritual Growth resources of the year.


Evaluated by Ken Wytsma, award-winning author of The Myth of Equality and Pursuing Justice.


Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue, By Richard J. FosterLearning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue by Richard J. Foster (IVP)

Not since the short work on Andrew Murray’s thoughts on humility has there been a book destined to be a classic focused on this oft-overlooked virtue. In Learning Humility, Foster organizes his yearlong thoughts around the Lakota calendar and delivers his reflections in short, personal, journal-style writings. His broad knowledge of a wide range of authors and their thoughts naturally flows through and accentuates this deeply personal work. Foster’s life experience, theological depth and commitment to spiritual disciplines makes this book not only highly readable, but profoundly life-changing. 

Experiencing Friendship with God: How the Wilderness Draws Us to His Presence by Faith Eury Cho (WaterBrook)

This short and punchy book on experiencing God is full of powerful language and deep exploration of metaphor and meaning. Experiencing Friendship with God stands alongside Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God, while being more accessible and having greater theological depth. In many respects, this treatment of the messiness of life and the wilderness experience is a book everyone would grow from.


Nourishing Narratives: The Power of Story to Shape Our Faith by Jennifer L. Holberg (IVP Academic) 

This book is a treatment on the power of words and story in helping us understand God’s creation and his plan in and through our lives. It comes from the life studies and teachings of a professor deeply focused on the intersection of art and faith, and is one of the more intellectually satisfying works on the power of stories to arrive in recent years. 

Made to Belong: Five Practices for Cultivating Community in a Disconnected World by David Kim (Thomas Nelson) 

Made to Belong is an easy-to-follow and graciously written plan for churches, communities and families looking to navigate the complexities of modern life and the distractions that keep us isolated from God, self, others and creation. Kim is from a new school of Christian writers who speak from and not at the younger generations while also naturally bringing in mental health themes that touch and define us all.

Lora Schrock
Lora Schrock

Lora Schrock is editor of Outreach magazine.