January 7, 2022

Staff Suggestions: Tools to Grow in 2022

By Grace Church

Read on for our favorite studies, journals, podcasts, books, and apps to help us take next steps toward Christ in 2022.


One of my favorite books is On the Road with St. Augustine by James K.A. Smith, which applies Augustine’s timeless wisdom to everyday life. Another great read for the new year is Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel, which combines brain science and the Bible to teach us how to take our thoughts captive. And if you’re wrestling with Christianity (or know someone who is), Confronting Christianty by Rebecca McLaughlin is a great book that tackles 12 hard questions that keep people from Christ. –Mike Adkins, Senior Pastor

The Deeply Formed Life by Rich Villodas is a great book for the new year on spiritual formation. It challenges us to think about the depth of our spiritual experience as the source of our spiritual behaviors and the well from which our faith must draw. –Rick Garrett, Executive Pastor

At Your Best by Carey Nieuwhof is a killer book on leveraging your time and energy to be productive and effective. He takes all the best principles and practices and makes them relatable and doable for your day-to-day life. –Clint Harrison, Oviedo Campus Pastor

Rereading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together was such an encouragement to me last January during a difficult time. I’ve never read The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer but am jumping in this January!  –Josh Dean, Care and Groups Pastor

The most helpful books I’ve read in the past couple of years are Try Softer by Aundi Kolber, about giving yourself the grace of the gospel as you heal, and Managing Leadership Anxiety by Steve Cuss — a book that would really help anyone, not just leaders, to apply gospel thinking to their anxious thoughts. – Kelly Adkins, Experience Director

This year I plan on reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald and Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose by Rebekah Lyons. –Rachel Hale, graceKIDS Director

If you’re involved with guest services or simply want to grow in hospitality, People Are The Mission by Danny Franks and The Comeback Effect by Jason Young and Jonathan Malm are excellent reads. –Scott Harrell, Next Steps Director

Journals and Studies

I was recently gifted this gratitude journal from Cultivate What Matters. I’m planning to keep working through it in 2022 to get better at slowing down and creating space to stop and just be thankful. Love how it prompts you to rewrite the Scripture too!  –T Munroe, Communications Manager

Last year I started using a Growth Journal from Growth Roots Co. It has a system for organizing notes, as well as sections for gratitude, prayer requests, book lists and more. Every month there’s a prompt to reflect and set new goals for the upcoming month. It’s a helpful way to focus on spiritual growth all year long. –Jeanne Harrison, Staff Writer

I suggest anything from The Daily Grace Company. I’ve done a couple of their Bible studies and a prayer journal this year and really love them! –Amy Izzo, Winter Garden graceKIDS Director

I’ve found digital journaling and planning to be a huge help to me! I remember things better when I write them down, but I am the worst about collecting journals and then only writing in them three times before moving on. I now subscribe to She Reads Truth’s digital studies, so each new study is sent to my email. I can download the pdf version to my iPad then highlight, write, and journal right on the pages. It’s been really helpful in keeping me consistent. –Kelley (EY) Reinoehl, Assistant graceKIDS Director

Apps and Podcasts

The Bible Project is my absolute jam, especially their latest podcast series on Paradigms, which is all about how to read the Bible. –Grant Nixon, Winter Garden Campus Pastor

The podcast The Place We Find Ourselves is one of my favorites that I will continue to listen to this year. It’s hosted by a Christian therapist who combines both theology and Scripture with research on the brain and attachment theory. –Julie Hotalen, Care and Counseling Coordinator

I’m planning to listen to this podcast from Bridgetown as I implement the spiritual habit of fasting this year. –Rachel Hale, graceKIDS Director

Awesome Marriage has a podcast and blog, and if you submit your email address, they’ll send you a daily marriage thought called “One Thing To Grow Your Marriage Each Day” – always on point! – Scott Harrell, Next Steps Director

I love the Abide app for meditation. It’s a quick way to pause and refocus. You can pick between 2, 5, 10, or 15 minute meditations. There are even bedtime stories for kids! – Jeanne Harrison, Staff Writer

Any more suggestions? Drop a comment below and let us know some of YOUR favorite tools for taking next steps toward Christ, or click here to find a local Grace Campus, worship online, or take your next step toward finding community!



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