2018 has come and gone. How was it for you? It marked a few firsts for me. Had an exceptional year of travel, with a lot of new cities and neighbourhoods visited. (Catch me over at Instagram for some pics.) Getting to speak around the continent has been a pleasure and I hope to do more of it this coming year.

2018 also marked the launch of my second book, Thrive. Ideas to lead the church in post-Christendom. That was a 3 year journey through writing and publishing. Happy to have it done, and even more stoked to see the traction it’s getting. Indie publishers rely on their readership to spread the word, so it’s more special to hear from every reader who’s picked up a copy.

In terms of my own reading, I have a list of top books from 2018. As I look back, there was a clear shift in genre. I read far less in the missional/missions space (mostly because the book is done), and a lot more from minority authors on topics of race and culture.

Without further ado, here’s my selection of best reads from 2018 (not necessarily published in 2018).

Two books that did the most to shift my worldview.

Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard

Written to peel away the false veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance in Canada surrounding anti-blackness. Canada has a deep systemic and systematic problem with racism, but what makes this country unique, is how well we pretend there isn’t a problem. This book dives into record book and pulls readers in comprehensive accounts of state-sanctioned devaluation of people of colour.

Factfulness – 10 Reason We’re Wrong About the World – Hans Rosling

This will change your paradigms surrounding 10 common held myths about the world. Particular attention given to how we view poverty through the lens of privilege.

I read a ton on race in the context of the church, particularly white Protestantism.

Good starting points on this conversation (particularly if you’re white) include:

  • “The End of White Christian America” by Robert P. Jones
  • “White Awake” by Daniel Hill
  • “The Myth of Equality” by Ken Wytsma.

If I had to pick one it would be “White Awake”.

On race in the church written by authors of colour:

  • “Woke Church” by Eric Mason
  • “The Christian Imagination” by Willie Jennings
  • “Trouble I’ve Seen” by Dru Hart
  • “The Minority Experience” by Adrian Pei

Still working through Jennings, and really enjoyed Woke Church.

I’m looking at my next book falling somewhere in the lines of multi-racial church in the post-Christian setting. Not sure specifics as of yet, but that seems to be where the Lord is leading.

Books on local nieghbourhood/missional church thinking include:

  • “Church Forsaken” by Jonathan Brooks
  • “Race and Place” by David Leong

Honorable Mention

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Re-imagining gathering without the church at the centre of cultural attention will look different. Where most Christians develop a competency to merely invite outsiders to a Sunday church service, contemporary culture gathers in very different ways. This book reveals the how in both how we gather and how to gather.

That’s it from me. What was on your reading list this past year that you enjoyed?