- May 1, 2017
After graduating high school or college, there’s only one thing that students want to see more than anything else: more books. Reading is an important hobby to keep up after the days of testing and homework are behind you, though. Even if it sounds like more work, reading is a great way to expand your knowledge, learn a new skill, or more efficiently handle the responsibility of adulthood. What are the best Christian books for graduates? Everybody loves Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” but maybe we should throw out some options you hadn’t already thought about.
There are so many great Christian books out there, but we’ve decided to give you a snippet of some of the best choices for young people starting out on a new adventure. To help break it down even further, we’ve created a few sub-categories to wrangle the books together by topic. Some of these make great gifts, while others are probably better found by the young person him or herself. We'll let you decide. Here are a few of the best Christian books for graduates today.
Books on Faith
There’s arguably never a more important time to read books that enrich your faith than when you’re a teenager or young adult. It is a pivotal time in the life of a person where he or she determines what they believe in and who they are going to be. In fact, research says that most Christian kids will leave the faith (some permanently) during their college years or shortly thereafter. With that in mind, let’s talk about some of the best Christian books for graduates who want to more fully form their faith. One of the greatest texts outside of the Bible for understanding the faith is C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.” As one of the greatest Christian writers of all time, Lewis has a way with words and an understanding of theology that few writers could hope to match. “Mere Christianity” is a great introduction to understanding the Christian faith that every Christian should take the time to read at some point.
For the high school graduate, this is a great time to start making Christianity a faith of his own. Up until now, church has mostly been an extension of family life, but college brings a new set of challenges and temptations. “How to Stay Christian in College” by J. Budziszewski is a guide to understanding the importance of building your own faith and learning about other viewpoints without surrendering your own. It is also an examination of why people leave the faith and how you can avoid the many pitfalls of college life.
David Platt has become a popular resource for Christians both old and young in recent years. Platt’s “Radical” has served as a manifesto for believers who want to seek a higher devotion to the principles of the Bible and to serve God with unabashed faith. We want young Christians to know that their faith is more than just church on Sundays and listening to the newest Chris Tomlin song. Christianity is a radical calling that we should pursue at full speed.
A book that has really helped with apologetics over the years is “The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. Although we should never forget the faith aspect of Christianity, looking at some of the hard science in this book that backs up a Biblical perspective will help young Christians navigate a world full of people who would like to discredit their beliefs. Lastly, “The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning is a book that teaches college-age Christians just how loved they are by their Creator. Instead of seeing God as a far away entity who simply judges our mistakes, we need to realize that there is a personal relationship we could be missing out on. God loves each and every person and wants them to call out His name. This is a great addition to any library.
Books on Relationships
The years following high school and college are also wildly important when it comes to forming friendships, meeting new people, and finding the person you are going to marry. Part of this time is spent figuring out our own issues, but then we move on to looking for people who can join in the journey with us. The majority of these books deal with romantic relationships, but the wisdom found within them can help in a number of connections.
Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” has been an enormous success when it comes to understanding the different ways that people tick. Upon learning these languages and how to interact with them, we can more efficiently and fully engage with those around us. Through Timothy Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage,” we can examine the history and purpose of marriage to dissuade any secular romanticism that may have been implanted in us through a childhood saturated in pop culture. Graduates who are tying the knot, or at least starting to think about it, need to understand what marriage really is before the big day comes.
Although many people find their significant other while at college, everyone else uses their 20’s to search for the right person. Before you get too ahead of yourself, though, you may want to read Gary Thomas’ book “The Sacred Search.” This book challenges the world’s idea of dating and marriage by saying that the purpose of marriage isn’t for “one true love” or happiness, but so that you can be made holy.
A sad reality of young adulthood is that lust is a serious struggle being faced by the vast majority of college age Christians. While this has long been viewed as a problem solely for men, recent studies show that one-third of all women ages 13-24 view pornography on at least a monthly basis. For these struggles, the titles under the banner of “Every Man’s Battle” have been an encouraged resource for years. Originally written by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, the book has taken on a number of different iterations including “Every Young Woman’s Battle” and more.
Pulling back from the focus of marriage, “Boundaries” by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend is a book that teaches graduates how to structure their lives and relationships in healthy ways. Knowing when to say no to your boss, friends, girlfriend, or anyone else is important. This book helps young people understand why it’s okay to make personal decisions that not everyone will like. If we can never say no, we’re headed for a nervous breakdown.
Books on Business and Leadership
Let’s say you’re son has just graduated with a business degree and is eager to jump into the workforce. Wouldn’t it be nice if he had a better understanding of what Christian leadership looked like? What about the importance of time management and productivity? These are some of the best Christian books when it comes to understanding the ways in which the workplace and faith can intersect.
First up is “Do More Better” by Tim Challies. This short book is determined to make you more productive in just 104 pages. By establishing routines and conquering the obstacles to productivity, a young graduate can learn to be a valued worker in no time.
When it comes to Christian books on business, one topic that is often overlooked is that of how a Christian woman should fit in the office. Katelyn Beaty’s “A Woman’s Place” examines the role of women at work and how it affects their jobs as mothers and caregivers. It’s an interesting read for women with degrees who are looking to join the workforce.
Business and leadership advice are often sought after in the latest bestseller, but what if there was already some powerful instruction in the Bible? “Lead Like Jesus” from Ken Blanchard is a book that shows its reader the ways in which Christ modeled great leadership through His ministry. What better leader to follow than Jesus Himself?
“Anointed For Business” by Ed Silvoso is for Christian graduates who don’t feel like they are called to lead churches or to serve on distant mission fields. The simple fact is that most young believers will not end up in a profession that is inherently religious. Instead, they see the world of business as their mission field. “Anointed For Business” looks at the ways the business world connected with the early church of the Bible in order to show us that employees don’t have to check their faith at the door.
It wouldn’t be proper to recommend the best Christian books for graduates without mentioning John C. Maxwell’s “Developing the Leader Within You.” Maxwell is one of the most prolific authors when it comes to Christian leadership, with a number of great books that touch on the subject. This book helps the reader plant the necessary seeds for leadership, an important task for any recent graduate.
Other Helpful Christian Books for Graduates
While the above books are a great start, we wanted to recommend a few other books that didn’t quite fit into any other category. Kevin DeYoung’s “Just Do Something” is a great read for a high school or college graduate who is unsure of what their next step will be. We can often be paralyzed by the fear of not knowing if our current path is God’s will for our lives. In this book we are encouraged to trust God and take action.
No matter what stage of life you are in, your finances are probably not in the best shape. Reading “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey is a great way to change that. If you took out student loans during college, following sound financial advice is a must. Even if you didn’t go to college or you didn’t have to pay for school, this book will teach you many things that will help you to “live and give like no one else.”
As we referenced earlier, there seems to be a problem with retaining young Christians once they go off to college. Sometimes even the ones who stay in church have a problem adjusting to their new stage in life. Many young people don’t see the point of having church sometimes. This leads to a massive age gap in the church and a growing list of volunteer needs. In “I Am A Church Member” by Thom Rainer, we see that there is a job for each individual in the church and they are all important.
Young people are often prone to dreaming and believing that anything is possible. Unfortunately, the culture often tells them to settle for a prolonged sense of adolescence where there is no pressure to do anything of value. Alex and Brett Harris’ “Do Hard Things” challenges young people to use their time wisely and to make a difference. The teenage years and young adulthood are a gift when it comes to fighting for important causes, dreaming big, and thinking selflessly. This book will ask you to forgo the easy life and do something that matters.
Our last recommendation for the best Christian books for graduates is a little more academic than most of these other options, but it is still important. “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem is a book that you might find a challenging read, but it will get you thinking about theology on a deeper level than you probably ever have before. This won’t be the first choice for a lot of graduates, but young people who want a crash course on theology will enjoy stretching their brain a little.
Graduation is a time for celebrating accomplishments and preparing for the next step in the journey of life. With the Christian books listed above, a young person just might be headed in the right direction. Of course we also strongly recommend that these Christian books be paired with a daily Bible reading plan. After all, why pay for all of these books to impart Godly wisdom when you won’t go straight to the source?
Like all others forms of Christian entertainment, Christian books point us back to the One whom we are really yearning to know. In music, films, and more we search for the ultimate Truth that God brings. At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, we take the time each year to celebrate the things that God is doing through these different mediums. Between great moments of prayer and worship, fun performances, and community building, it is the ultimate fan experience. Find out how you can attend by clicking on the link below.