The 28 Best Books of the Year

17th annual celebration of the best resources from the past year

For the 17th year, Outreach magazine is celebrating some of the best outreach-oriented books and curricula by honoring them as Outreach Resources of the Year.

The Outreach Resources of the Year aims to highlight valuable resources for church leaders and bring deserved attention to resources that can help churches better engage in effective outreach to share the gospel and reach their communities for Christ. This year’s titles address issues in evangelism and discipleship, apologetics, the church, leadership, racial reconciliation, and social justice, among other concerns. The resources are featured in the March/April 2020 issue of Outreach magazine.

More than 150 resources published between Nov. 1, 2018, and Oct. 31, 2019, were submitted for consideration and placed into 11 categories. An expert in each category evaluated the resources and chose what they considered to be the best. The experts also chose how many resources to recognize, and whether to include any as “Also Recommended.”

The Outreach Resources of the Year are:

EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP

“Some of the most important evangelism findings of this generation”

Resource of the Year

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You Found Me
By Rick Richardson
(IVP)

Also Recommended

The Unsaved Christian
By Dean Inserra (Moody)

Unlikely Converts
By Randy Newman (Kregel)

Faith for Exiles
By David Kinnaman (Baker)

Gospel Witness
By David Gustafson (Eerdmans)

APOLOGETICS

“Raising the hard questions … and answering them”

Resource of the Year

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Confronting Christianity
By Rebecca McLaughlin
(Crossway)

Also Recommended

Narrative Apologetics
By Alister McGrath (Baker)

Cultural Apologetics
By Paul Gould (Zondervan)

CHURCH

“Practical and biblical steps almost any church can undertake”

Resource of the Year

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Taking It to the Streets
By Harry Louis Williams II
(IVP)

Also Recommended

Why Church?
By Scott Sunquist (IVP)

The Church of Us vs. Them
By David Fitch (Brazos/Baker)

LEADERSHIP

“Six powerful ministry trends sweeping across North America”

Resource of the Year

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Liquid Church
By Tim Lucas and Warren Bird
(Zondervan)

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Also Recommended

How to Lead in a World of Distraction
By Clay Scroggins (Zondervan)

RACIAL RECONCILIATION

“Fresh language and metrics in the much-needed dialogue around race in America”

Resource of the Year

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Intensional
By D.A. Horton
(NavPress)

CROSS-CULTURAL AND MISSIONAL

“Effortlessly explaining global mission history without condescension”

Resource of the Year

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Christian Mission
By Edward Smither
(Lexham)

Also Recommended

Global Arts and Christian Witness
By Roberta King (Baker)

Teaching Across Cultures
By James Plueddemann (IVP)

SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

“Straight talk and readable writing, always with a gracious mood that stems from his strong alliance with Christ”

Resource of the Year

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Holy Sexuality and the Gospel
By Christopher Yuan
(Multnomah)

THEOLOGY AND BIBLICAL STUDIES

“Everything about outreach is rooted in what one thinks the proper response to the gospel is”

Resource of the Year

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Paul and the Language of Faith
By Nijay Gupta
(Eerdmans)

Also Recommended

For the Life of the World
By Miroslav Volf and Matthew Croasmun (Brazos/Baker)

The Mosaic of Atonement
By Joshua McNall (Zondervan)

Justification: Two-Volume Set
By Michael Horton (Zondervan)

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

“In the end, it’s about a Father who doesn’t merely wait for us, but comes running to welcome us back”

Resource of the Year

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On the Road With Saint Augustine
By James K.A. Smith
(Brazos/Baker)

Also Recommended

The Common Rule
By Justin Whitmel Earley (IVP)

COUNSELING AND RELATIONSHIPS

“Deftly explores the dicey issues of unhealthy relationships”

Resource of the Year

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When to Walk Away
By Gary Thomas
(Zondervan)

KIDS AND YOUTH

“God gave us all ‘one big heart’ to love and celebrate the value of others”

Resource of the Year

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One Big Heart
By Linsey Davis with Beverly Davis (Zonderkidz)

Also Recommended

The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible
By Joanna Rivard and Tim Penner (Zonderkidz)

So the Next Generation Will Know
By Sean McDowell and J. Warner Wallace (David C Cook)

WHO MADE UP THIS YEAR’S PANEL?

EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP
Michelle Sanchez
, executive minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for The Evangelical Covenant Church, and an Outreach magazine contributing editor.

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APOLOGETICS
Ed Stetzer
, an Outreach magazine contributing editor, who holds the Billy Graham distinguished chair of church, mission and evangelism at Wheaton College and the Wheaton Graduate School, where he also directs the Billy Graham Center.

CHURCH
Bob Whitesel
, a church coach, consultant, practical theologian, John Wesley scholar, founding professor of a seminary and author of 13 books.

LEADERSHIP
Greg Ligon
, chief innovation officer at Leadership Network and co-author of The Multi-Site Church Revolution and A Multi-Site Church Road Trip.

RACIAL RECONCILIATION
R. York Moore
, national evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA and the author of Do Something Beautiful.

CROSS-CULTURAL AND MISSIONAL
Robert Gallagher
, director and professor of intercultural studies at Wheaton College Graduate School. He co-authored Encountering the History of Missions and Breaking Through the Boundaries.

SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
Knute Larson
, an Outreach magazine consulting editor and a coach of pastors and churches. He pastored for 43 years, and is the director of Pastorpedia, a monthly video and blog for church leaders, accessible through OutreachMagazine.com.

THEOLOGY AND BIBLICAL STUDIES
Scot McKnight
, author or editor of some 60 books and the Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.

SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Glenn Paauw
, director of content for the Institute for Bible Reading. He is the author of Saving the Bible From Ourselves.

COUNSELING AND RELATIONSHIPS
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott
, founders of the marriage assessment SYMBIS.com and authors of The Good Fight, Crazy Good Sex and Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

KIDS AND YOUTH
Russell St. Bernard
, an Outreach magazine consulting editor, the director for ministry operations at Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and founder of After the Music Stops.

For more: OutreachMagazine.com/Resources-Of-The-Year