- January 10, 2017
We all know there’s a lot of reading to be done when you’re a teenager. From class assignments on Jane Austen and Edgar Allen Poe to catching up with the latest YA novel, teenagers are constantly getting book recommendations and requirements. When it comes to Christian books, though, it can be hard to find the best fit. After all, it seems like there are millions of books out there on what it means to be a young Christian.
The following list is simply a sample of some of the best books out there today. Some may require a little more thinking than others, but they all address important aspects of being a Christian teenager. From biographies to fictional stories, there’s always a new book out there that just might help you in a certain area. Here are a few of the best Christian books for teens today.
“Don’t Waste Your Life”
Even if your experience with Christian literature is quite limited, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of John Piper. The famous author and pastor has been an icon in the Christian community for some time now, having written roughly 50 books.
In “Don’t Waste Your Life,” Piper combats the idea of casual Christianity where we spend our days seeking enjoyment only to refer back to Christ whenever we feel like it. In his terms, a wasted life is one in which we don’t seek to proclaim the glory of God with how we live. To not know the joy that comes from knowing and basking in the presence of God is a great tragedy.
The book speaks just as easily to a retiree as it does a high school student as we all have time left to make an impact. For students, this might be a swift kick in the backside to start living for God now.
“A Teen’s Guide to the Five Love Languages”
Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages,” has helped many marriages and relationships over the years by identifying common traits that help couples to grow more intimate and/or heal old wounds.
With “A Teen’s Guide to the Five Love Languages,” Chapman sets out to address teenage relationships. Although the book does talk about romantic relationships, it actually covers a variety of topics like self-worth, how to be a better friend, and what to look for in the opposite sex. Parents may also be interested in “The Five Love Languages of Teenagers,” which shares a few ways to reach your kids more effectively.
Bonus for teenagers: “A Teen’s Guide…” is less than 150 pages.
Few topics in teenage Christian literature are quite as saturated with books as those dealing with culture. Since teenagers spend around NINE hours a day on media, it’s no wonder why Christian authors want to help them navigate the secular world.
David Platt is one of the best Christian authors around and his book, “Counter Culture,” is one of the best Christian books dealing with today’s issues. Reaching far beyond just “media,” this book deals with hot button issues like orphans, same-sex marriage, poverty, and immigration.
Though dealing with different issues, Platt’s “Radical” and “Follow Me” are also worth checking out. Another great book on pushing back against culture is Russell Moore’s “Onward.”
“Just Do Something”
One of the biggest questions that teenagers will soon be asking themselves (if they haven’t already) is “What is God’s will for my life?” This can be a difficult topic for any kid to have to face. Your late teens is when you have to start thinking about colleges, careers, and the kind of person that you want to be. Books like Kevin DeYoung’s “Just Do Something” are a great asset for any teenager.
Instead of giving into fear and freezing in the moment, DeYoung’s book is a call to action for Christians to simply follow Scripture and see how that affects their decision making.
It’s important for kids to have heroes and that still applies to teenagers. Why not look back on a few of the Christian heroes over the years for inspiration? Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” chronicles the life of Louis Zamperini, who was an Olympian and a WWII POW.
The story of a different Olympic runner is found in “For the Glory” by Duncan Hamilton. Eric Liddell is the famous athlete who wouldn’t run an Olympic race on a Sunday because it was the Sabbath. His story is told in the film “Chariots of Fire.” A more current athlete’s biography to read would be either of Tim Tebow’s books, “Shaken” and “Through My Eyes.”
“The Conviction to Lead”
As the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler is one of the leading minds behind modern Christian thought. Aside from his day job, Mohler is an author and hosts the podcast “The Briefing.” This daily program shines a light on stories around the world that affect Christians and culture.
In “The Conviction to Lead,” Mohler outlines the principles that he feels are necessary to pursue change and to be an effective leader. He’s also the author of “We Cannot Be Silent,” another of the great Christian books for teens today.
Cooper Kids Adventures - Christian Books for Teens
For a dose of fiction, you may want to check out this classic series from Frank Peretti. Perhaps more aimed for younger teenagers, these books are a flair of adventure that can break up any monotony kids may be feeling from schoolbooks. With eight books in total, the series can provide hours upon hours of entertainment.
Peretti has published many novels over the years, most aimed at kids. “Piercing the Darkness” and “This Present Darkness” are interesting looks at spiritual warfare. You can also look at the Veritas Project series, which is about a fictional family that investigates weird sightings and claims.
“Kisses from Katie”
A New York Times Bestseller, this story of a high school senior who moved to Uganda instead of going to college is inspiring. As teenagers start to travel on mission trips or feel a calling to ministry, hearing success stories like Katie’s can be a boost of confidence. With over 1600 reviews and a rating of 4.8/5, you’d be hard-pressed to find a book that is more crowd-pleasing.
Not everyone is called to serve in ministry several thousand miles from home, but it’s good to know that people are willing to answer the call.
Author Francis Chan gained popularity from this 2008 book that spells out the need for intimacy with God. Writing against the shallow Christianity that is often tolerated in culture, Chan points out that our response to God’s love should be so much more than just trying harder and doing better on a checklist.
“Forgotten God” is another one of Chan’s book where he tries to break down a complex idea, this time being the Holy Spirit. He also has “Multiply,” which deals with discipleship. As one of the most passionate speakers in modern Christianity, it should be no surprise that Chan is behind such great Christian books.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Arguably the best-known fiction series in all of Christian literature, The Chronicles of Narnia is a seven-book series that chronicles the creation of a magical land and the many events that happen along the way.
Featuring strong Christian allegories throughout, the Narnia books are great works of fiction with strong characters. Appropriate for kids of just about any age, C.S. Lewis did some of his best work here. If you’re not feeling this series, you may want to check out the author’s other books including “The Screwtape Letters” and “Mere Christianity.”
The sad truth for many teenagers is that there is a need for books addressing issues like lust, pornography, and related content. Author Heath Lambert’s book “Finally Free” is one of the leading resources for people looking to combat this problem.
Where some books focus more on things to avoid or ways to train your mind to fight this issue, “Finally Free” examines how the truth of the Bible can fight the allure of sin. Mainly written for men, this book can also be helpful for women.
No matter what stage of life someone is in, we can all identify with the idea of feeling unloved or left out. Author Lysa Terkeurst writes about this in her book “Uninvited” drawing from her own experience with abandonment.
One of the bestselling Christian books for women in 2016, this book is reaching a lot of people with the important message of overcoming insecurities with the help of faith. Other Christian books that may resonate with teenage girls are “Lies Young Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh and just about any of the books from Beth Moore.
With dozens (if not hundreds) of talented authors catering to subjects that appeal to younger readers, there’s no shortage of Christian books for teens today. It’s possible that we missed one of your favorite reads, but we hope that this list is helpful when it comes to finding Christian books for yourself or your kids.
At the K-LOVE Fan Awards, we recognize that Christian books are an important aspect of all Christian media. That’s why we recognize the book that is making the biggest impact each and every year. The K-LOVE Fan Awards is the biggest weekend in Christian music. Click on the link below to find out how you and your family can take part in our upcoming festivities.