Maybe you are already dreaming about slathering sunscreen and digging your toes in the sand for your summer vacation. Possibly you have said this is the summer you will take that hike you’ve been promising yourself. The Spiritual Life Development Department would like to help you expand your summer plans with a few ideas for enriching reading and listening.

We have compiled book titles, podcast suggestions, and worship music to speak to your heart and soul as you enjoy your summer.

Books for Your Heart and Soul

Get Your Life Back: Everyday Practices for a World Gone Mad, John Eldredge

Eldredge provides a simple, practical, and refreshing guide to taking your life back by practicing a few rhythms of grace to help recover your soul. These graces include:

  • Learning to insert the One Minute Pause into your day;
  • Practicing “benevolent detachment” and truly letting it all go;
  • Offering kindness toward yourself in the choices you make;
  • Drinking in the simple beauty available to you every day; and
  • Talking simple steps to unplug from technology overload.

get your copy here


I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet: How Curiosity, Compassion, and Courage Can Reshape our Lives, Shauna Niequist

After a move from her life in Midwest suburbia to the heart of New York City, author Shauna Niequist felt like she was starting all over again. There was so much she didn’t know and decided, instead of saying, “I don’t know how to do that,” she replaced it with, “I guess I haven’t learned that yet.” Without realizing it, this phrase shifted her perspective from blame and shame to an adventure broadening her horizons.

Niequist writes in such a witty, engaging fashion that you find your life being reshaped with hers.

get your copy here



Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest, Ruth Haley Barton

In our frenzied culture, the possibility of living in balanced rhythms of work and rest often feels elusive.

Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest grounds us in God’s intentions in giving us the gift of sabbath, providing practical steps for embedding sabbath rhythms. Each chapter concludes with “What Your Soul Wants to Say to God,” an opportunity to reflect and engage God around your journey with the material. Sabbath is more than a practice—it is a way of life ordered around God’s invitation to regular rhythms of work, rest, and replenishment that will sustain us for the long haul of life in leadership.

get your copy here


No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending, Esther Fleece

We greet one another with the phrase “How are you doing?” and the automatic response is “Fine.” When life hurts, we often feel pressure – from others and ourselves – to keep it together, suck it up, or pray it away. But Scripture reveals a God who meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be. “Lament,” Fleece says, “is a prayer woven throughout Scripture, But more than a prayer, it is an unexpected pathway to true intimacy with God.”

This book reveals how to use God’s language to draw closer to him as he leads us through any darkness into his marvelous light.

get your copy here


Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture, Adam McHugh

Introverts have gifts for the church and the world. But many churches tend to be extroverted places where introverts are marginalized. Some Christians end up feeling like it’s not as faithful to be an introvert. Adam McHugh shows how introverts can live and minister in ways consistent with their personalities. He explains how introverts and extroverts process information and approach relationships differently and how introverts can practice Christian spirituality in ways that fit who they are. With practical illustrations from church and parachurch contexts, McHugh offers ways for introverts to serve, lead, worship, and even evangelize effectively. Introverts in the Church is essential reading for any introvert who has ever felt out of place and for church leaders who want to make their churches more welcoming to introverts.

get your copy here


Podcasts with Purpose

The Grafted Life – ESDA (Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association)

Conversations about Christian spiritual formation, spiritual direction, soul care, and life with God. This podcast series helps the listener explore God’s design for transformation.


Dream Big Podcast with Bob Goff and Friends

Guiding you to discover, declare, and take action on the big ambitions you have for your life. Every episode, you’ll hear from one of Bob’s friends, who’s been learning how to chase their big ambitions, despite the bumps and turns life can throw at all of us. Feel free to share the episodes with your friends who could use a little encouragement and inspiration.


Eternal Current Podcast – Aaron Niequist

Aaron Niequist hosts a podcast through his book–The Eternal Current–one episode per chapter. Each episode will:

  • Reflect on the key idea of that chapter,
  • Have a conversation with someone who is living it out in the world, and
  • Learn a concrete practice that helps us flesh this theme into our hearts, bodies, and relationships.


BEMA Podcast: Love God. Love Others. Become People of the Text.

The BEMA Podcast is a walk-through of the context of the Bible and the Text itself, as well as surrounding history. We deconstruct our common readings of the Bible and attempt to reconstruct them through the lens of historical context.

BEMA Discipleship is a ministry of Impact Campus Ministries.


That Sounds Fun! Podcast – Annie F. Downs

Christian author and speaker Annie F. Downs shares some of her favorite things: new books, faith conversations, restaurants, travel stories, musicians not to miss, and interviews with friends. Pretty much, if it sounds fun to Annie, you’re going to hear about it.


Whether lying on the beach, taking a walk in the park, or simply sitting on your patio, consider incorporating into your “downtime” something that will lift your spirit and refresh your soul.


Worship as You Go

One of our favorite worship leaders, Brittany Parks, shares her current personal playlist to encourage her daily. Plug into the playlist on Spotify and use it as you walk, run, enjoy some time at the beach, or on long car rides while traveling this summer.

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