Personal Growth

Great Resources and Links below at the SEND U site:  (NOTE: all annotations theirs)

Creating an Individual Growth Plan

Spiritual Formation

Personal Change

Emotional Wellness

– see articles and resources on emotional intelligence, depression and burnout on this page

Personal Evaluation

Intentional Living


Overcoming in the battle with pornography   here

Dealing with the Busyness and  Stress of Ministry

see resources on the Member Care page

Lifelong Learning in Mission

Applied Theology

  • Foundations of the Christian Faith (Master Reference Collection) by James Montgomery Boice. Recommended by Anne Marie Smoker. “A systematic theology book for the lay. The first half of the book is solid theology, may not interest some folks. But the second half of the book I’ve used over and over again in ministry as I relate to people and try to bring Christ into our conversations.”


Additional Resources and Recommendations from  NOTE: all annotations theirs)

Selected Resources in Spiritual Formation, including Spiritual Warfare:

Clinton Arnold. Three Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare. Baker Books, 1997. Perhaps the most balanced and helpful work on the topic, rooted in Scripture and reality, avoiding the extremes.

Ruth Haley Barton.   Sacred Rhythms (InterVarsity Press, 2006), Barton gives practical advice on how to seek God in the crucible of ministry.  She explains the importance of listening, silence and Scripture in growing deeper in God. In Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership (IVPress, 2008), she includes contemplation as the spiritual practice through which Jesus’ followers learn to pay attention to Him, and prepare their hearts to hear from Him.

David G. Benner. Sacred Companions. The Gift of Spiritual Friendship and Direction. IVPress, 2002. An inviting introduction to the ancient practice of the church of being in accountable spiritual relationships that both encourage and direct.

_____. Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer (IVPress, 2010), introduces the reader to the timeless practice of contemplative Bible reading. He suggests contemplative prayer is not communication with God, but communion with God. As we open ourselves to Him, God does the spiritual work of transformation in us. In this thoughtful book, the author describes prayer as Attending, Responding, Being and the Life of Prayer, or Prayer as Life.

_____. Surrender to Love: Discovering the Heart of Christian Spirituality. IVPress, 2003. A compelling reminder that it is our surrender to love that allows us to offer it to others in power.

Bruce Demarest. Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the Heart of Christian Spirituality. NAVPress, 1999. A most helpful overview of the disciplines and Spiritual Formation and Direction.

_____. SoulGuide: Following Jesus as Spiritual Director. NAVPress, 2003.

_____. Seasons of the Soul: Stages of Spiritual Development. IVPress, 2009.

Richard J. Foster.  Celebration of Discipline. Harper/San Francisco, 1978. This classic by well-known Quaker spiritual director Foster outlines ten classic spiritual disciplines for personal and community growth into Christlikeness.

_____. Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. Harper/San Francisco, 1992.

_____. Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith.. Harper/San Francisco, 1998.

Joyce Huggett. The Joy of Listening to God: Hearing the Many Ways God Speaks to Us. (Intervarsity Press, 1986.) In contemplation the Lord calls us from our preoccupation with self and our overbusyness to focus on him and him only. Contemplation is one way that God’s saints have discovered greater intimacy with God through the ages. In extended times of prayerful silence, the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray (Rom 8:26). Huggett’s chapter 1-5 introduce the reader to tuning into God, our calling to contemplate, preparing to contemplate, and continuing to contemplate.

Timothy A. Jacobsen.  Nurturing Spiritual Formation Among Missionaries. Grace Printing/Tim Jacobsen, 2010.

A. Scott Moreau.. Essentials of Spiritual Warfare: Equipped to Win the Battle.  Shaw Publishers, 1997. Other missiologists have cited this short book as the best introduction to spiritual warfare on the market.  A balanced understanding that is biblically-based, personally relevant, and culturally sensitive.

_____. Spiritual Warfare: Disarming the Enemy through the Power of God. Shaw Books, 2004. A valuable series of self-study guides on twelve topics based on inductive Bible study. This is a gem for everybody in mission.

M. Robert Mulholland. Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation. IVPress, 2003. A clearly written introduction to the transformative nature of intentionally choosing to start the journey of spiritual growth and formation.

Henri J. M. Nouwen. The Way of the Heart. Image Books/Doubleday, 1979. This beloved devotional author and spiritual director suggests solitude, silence and prayer as the core dynamics of a deeper walk with Jesus.

_____. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. Crossroad, 1990. One of the most powerful books (deceptively brief) on true spirituality, especially relevant for all who are or who aspire to some kind of Christian leadership. I have given away more copies of this book than any other in my life. It’s deceptively brief!

Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. IVPress, 1980. Tested spiritual counsel by one of the wisest and tested shepherds of the Global North, rightly dissects our penchant for instant spirituality and leadership, and calls us to perseverance and endurance in the life-long journey of faithful discipleship. Anything by Peterson will be healthy for you!

Douglas D. Webster.  Finding Spiritual Direction. IVPress, 1991.

Dallas Willard.  Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God (InterVarsity Press, 1984, 1993, 1999). Being close to God means communicating with Him—telling Him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is both important and difficult. They key is to focus on building our personal relationship with our Creator through silence, listening and contemplation.

_____. The Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ.  NAVPress, 2002.Arguably the most accessible writing of Willard, who dissects the Christian life into its component parts, and then puts them all back together into a riveting guide to personal transformation.

_____. The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on DiscipleshipHarper/San Francisco, 2006.