I wrote a couple weeks go about why we hire interns at First. There are many reasons, but I included three. We hire interns because we want to develop leaders, we want to prioritize The Kingdom and because we want to do excellent work together. Throughout the year, our intern cohort met together weekly, met with me weekly for a 1:1 check-in and spent the rest of their time engaged in ministry.
During our weekly cohort meetings, we had a rhythm that went like this:
We updated one another on our week (shared highs and lows)
We shared a devotional together
We spent time praying together
We sang the Doxology together
We discussed books we read together
As I reflect on our year, the books we read were very good. Each of them helped us grow in different ways, and I want to share the books with you. Links are provided, so you can jump over to Amazon and order yourself a copy. Each of them would be well worth your time.
If you want to have lasting change in your life, this book is a great guide. It is thoroughly Biblical and eminently practical. Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp provide a model for change that is rooted in the gospel. They push us to consider the source of our sin, our idols and the lies we believe. They also give us a remedy. This book provided some great discussion for our cohort and built a great foundation for the rest of our year.
This is the best book I have read on spiritual disciplines. David Mathis always points us toward the goal of our spiritual disciplines - enjoying Jesus. In the book, Mathis helps to give a simple model and groups the disciplines (habits of grace) into three primary groups (means of grace). The three means of grace are God's Word, Prayer and Fellowship. He then delineates various habits in each group which help us to enjoy Jesus. My heart was encouraged by this book, and it was a very good launching point for our cohort to discuss spiritual disciplines.
A classic. I had not read this prior to reading it with our cohort. John Owen's style of writing can be difficult for contemporary readers, but we found a great edition of the book which helped. John Owen has great insight into the need for Christians to wage war on their sin. "Be killing sin, or it will be killing you," is a well known line from the book. In an age when we take our sin too lightly, Owen reminds us that we need to fight sin. And that fighting sin does not need to equate with legalism. If you are going to buy this, purchase the copy edited by Kapic and Taylor. It has three different books in the one volume, and also some great helps in understanding Owen's writing.
I may not have our cohort read this next year. Not because it wasn't a great book, but because it wasn't the right book for our intern cohort. Bonhoeffer's perspective on what it means to live the Christian life together is challenging and encouraging. It challenged me in my own habits and disciplines, and it made me think differently about how my family structures our days. It was harder to translate into how we live together as Christians today. It is a short book, and well worth reading. It will challenge you. It will convict you. It will encourage you. It provides some great theological and philosophical thoughts about life together as Christians, but it does take some work to apply it to our context.
We are still accepting applications for next year's cohort of interns. If you or someone you know would like to apply, please take a look the information regarding our intern program found on our website.