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Dr Deb Moncauskas shares her thoughts and ideas from her 35 years in Children and Family Ministry. Also, stay tuned for upcoming events, news and announcements!

8 Books That Informed My Thinking in 2022

Dec 30, 2022 | Children’s Ministry, Family Ministry, Leadership Development, Living and Leading from Your Strengths

Happy New Year!  Here are eight books that really informed my thinking in 2022!  I hope they do the same for you in 2023!

Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose. Rediscover Your Joy by Bob Goff

“The way to beat distraction is to become captivated by something much bigger and much better, such as purpose and joy.”

“Decide in advance that you will do whatever it takes to get your heart right, and then do it—even if it will kill all previous versions of you.”


Leadership in Christian Perspective by Justin A. Irving and Mark L Strauss by Timothy R. Clark

A fresh look at “Empowering Leadership.” This term is defined by the authors as “a process by which leaders and followers partner together for the purpose of achieving common goals and shared vision.” They focus on leadership practices that focus on empowering others to grow and flourish in their service and work. The book is organized around nine empowering practice accessible to students, church leaders and business leaders.


Sacred Rhythms: Arranging our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

This book speaks to spiritual disciplines that open us up to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. The practices described are: solitude, lectio divina, prayer, honoring the body (keeping it in reasonable shape, as the temple of the Holy Spirit), self-examination (examen), discernment and sabbath rest.


Trauma Informed Children’s Ministry: A Guide to Reaching Hurting Kids by Robert and Lori Crosby

This book helps children’s ministry leaders understand trauma and strengthen their ministries to serve and disciple hurting kids.

“When we help children heal from trauma, we remove the obstacles that prevent them from coming to Jesus, and we help accomplish God’s restorative work in their lives. This is central to the mission of the church.”


Throw the First Punch: Defeating the Enemy hell-bent on Your Destruction by Beth Guckenberger

Beth encourages the reader to draw close to Jesus and to be empowered and equipped to live boldly and victoriously.


Strength-Based Parenting: Developing Your Children’s Innate Talents by Mary Reckmeyer, Ph.D. and Jennifer Robison

Inspires parents to embrace their individual parenting style by discovering and developing their own and their children’s talents and strengths.

“To develop a healthy sense of pride, confidence and identity, your child has to know what his/her talents are and be able to develop them into strengths.”

“Our future doesn’t depend on everybody being the same; it depends on each person sharing his/her talents, blessings, beliefs and passions.”


Perspectives on Children’s Spiritual Formation: 4 Views by Greg Carlson, Tim Ellis, Trisha Graves, and Scottie May

This book presents the four major views on how faith is cultivated in children and their respective methods of Christian Education. The book looks to answer the question, “How is the faith of a child best developed?”


The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation by Jim Herrington, Trisha Taylor, and R. Robert Creech

This book is a call to pastors and leaders to engage in a lifelong journey of personal transformation as Jesus’ disciples. The book addresses the important aspects of relationships in family settings and faith communities and stresses the importance of spiritual disciplines and a relationship with God as our center.


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