The 5: Getting a good read on the rest of the year

It’s September, so there are four months to go in 2022. Do you have a reading plan to finish the year well? As I think about my own reading for the rest of the year, I always like to read at least one book that’s short and practically helpful. If you think the same way I do, here are five short books I encourage you to consider:


Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church
by John Onwuchekwa (137 pgs)

We know we need to pray, but we often don’t know how to get started or keep it going. This little book is especially helpful in building prayer into your church. It’s filled with ideas, examples, and challenges that will make a difference in your life, your small group, and your church. 


The Money Challenge: 30 Days to Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money
by Art Rainer (148 pgs) 

My wife, Pam, and I work hard to be wise and generous with our finances, but we’ve learned the hard way. Had we read this resource when we first married more than 31 years ago, we would have made even wiser decisions. Reading this book—and guiding your church
to join you—will strengthen your church’s ministry efforts. 


Problems of Christian Leadership 
by John Stott (95 pgs)

I review this abridged version of other writings of the famous pastor at least every other year. Not all of it applies directly to me (e.g., one chapter is about being a leader when “comparatively young”—which I’m probably not anymore), but I always remember something of value. Other chapters deal with discouragement, self-discipline, and relationships. 


Nobodies for Jesus: 14 Days to a Great Commission Lifestyle
by Chuck Lawless (108 pgs)

Forgive the self-promotion, but this book describes what I believe
we must do to be evangelistic people again: be filled with wonder over Jesus like we were when He first saved us. Evangelistic programs and processes simply don’t work well when we’ve lost our amazement over the Savior—or when we’re amazed over ourselves. 


The Art of Turning from Sin to Christ for a Joyfully Clear Conscience
by Kevin DeYoung (40 pgs)

No matter how long I’ve been a believer, I’m still learning. I don’t always pay sufficient attention to my God-given conscience. Sometimes I let the enemy lead me too far into self-condemnation. This really short book is packed with guidance if you face any of these types of battles. It’ simple. It’s clear. It’s freeing.

Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. For more from Lawless, visit

Dean of Doctoral Studies, Vice President of Spiritual Formation and Ministry Centers
Chuck Lawless
Southeastern Seminary
Most Read

‘When can I return to Uganda?’: IMB missionary shares cancer journey

Rebekah Lockhart drove past leafy, vibrant banana trees on her way to the airport in Uganda. As she passed them, she wondered if she would ever see them again. Was this the last time she would …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.