Turning pages: book recommendations for our staff and for you!

vital worship grant staff books low res

What are you reading these days? Is there a book that you’ve read recently that’s touched your heart?

A “free” bookstore puts new books into the hands of staff

The worship team and I asked members of the school leadership team and Christian leaders in our community to recommend books for the Mustard Seed School staff to read. The criteria?  Highly engaging books about spiritual formation, faith and children, worship leading, and personal spiritual growth. Then, in January, we had a “free bookstore.”  All staff members selected a book that interested them.

The booklist

  • Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland
  • Prophetic Lament by Soong-Chan Rah
  • Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church by Kendra Creasy Dean
  • Praying in Color for Kids by Sybil MacBeth
  • Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth
  • Journey to the Heart: Centering Prayer for Children by Frank Jelenek
  • Writing to God: Kid’s Edition by Rachel Hackenberg
  • Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
  • An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
  • The Air I Breathe: Worship as A Way of Life by Louie Giglio
  • The Religious Potential of the Child: ages 3-12 by Sophia Cavalletti
  • The Religious Potential of the Child: Experiencing Scripture and Liturgy with Young Children by Sophia Cavalletti
  • Listening to God with Children by Gianna Gobbi
  • Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
  • Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
  • Here and Now by Henri Nouwen
  • Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Bruegemann by Walter Brueggemann
  • To Know As We Are Known by Parker Palmer
  • Contemplative Vision: A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer by Juliet Benner
  • Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture: The Transforming Power of the Well-Spoken Word by Jeffrey Arthurs
  • Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation by Richard Rohr
  • He speaks: Preparing to Hear From God by Priscilla Shirer
  • Entering Christ’s Prayer: A Retreat in 32 Meditations by Eric Jensen
  • Advent Wisdom by Henri Nouwen
  • The Ignatian Adventure by Kevin O’Brien

what else should we add to this list?

If you have book suggestions to add to this list, I’d love to have them. Email me at Jessica Smith, jsmith@mustardseedschool.org.

With thanks to the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and Lilly Endowment, Inc.

This project was made possible by a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship with funds from Lilly Endowment, Inc.


Jessica Smith

JESSICA L. SMITH, Music Teacher Grades 6-8

Dr. Smith teaches music to students in grades 6-8 and coordinates worship for PK-8th grade. She was the Director of Development at Mustard Seed School from 2008-2016.