With pages upon pages of devotional options on Amazon, how do you choose? It's difficult to find one that will not only get you into the Word, but also include meaningful commentary or insights. So I've gathered six excellent devotionals that are perfect for giving you tools to engage with God, others, and yourself at a deeper level. Each one is perfect for a specific type of devotional reader. They are all great for church leaders.
1. Sacred Ordinary Days Planner
Perfect for Lectionary Lovers
This innovative combination of a planner, journal, and devotional is based on the lectionary. It includes a weekly schedule spread with lectionary readings and prompts to identify your top daily priorities, a weekly examen page, and a weekly reflection and planning page. It also includes seasonal art and a finger labyrinth to "walk" with your finger. I appreciate the way this devotional connects a current rhythm of many church leaders (the lectionary readings) to deeper spiritual practices. This resource can be purchased in a year-long beautiful book, month-to-month print-outs, or a year-long print-out.
2. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Perfect for Liturgy Lovers Who Want a Twist
This is one of my all-time favorite devotionals that I return to year after year. I have it in both ebook and hardcover so I always have it on hand. Each day includes readings, a prayer, a song, and historical information about a person or event important to Christianity. Each month has a focus on a theme important to what Shane Claiborne calls "the new monasticism," like reconciliation, care for creation, and contemplative prayer. The emphasis on justice is clear and refreshing, and feels especially relevant today, even though it was originally published in 2010.
3. Live Your Calling
Perfect for Women in Ministry
This 40-day devotional includes daily readings from women leaders, weekend activity and application ideas, and even group ideas for discussing with others. The format can be used anytime throughout the year. With themes like identity in Christ, self-care, and bold leadership, women in ministry will be encouraged and gain insights into leading well as women. Full disclosure: I am the editor of this devotional, so I'm a bit biased.
4. Emotionally Healthy Relationships Day by Day
Perfect for Improving Relationship Skills
I'm a huge fan of Peter Scazzero's work on the connection between emotional health and spiritual health. For me, knowing his work is a must for all church leaders. His newest devotional doesn't disappoint. This 40-day resource will help you examine your family of origin, assess your listening skills, and discover how to fight cleanly, just for starters. Built around the practice of praying the Daily Office, this devotional will also help you establish a prayer habit.
5. Hearing God Through the Year
Perfect for Developing a Conversational Relationship with God
Dallas Willard had immense wisdom to share in the area of discipleship and spiritual formation. This year-long devotional is focused on discerning God's voice and includes Willard quotes, Scripture readings, and suggestions for prayer, journaling, and reflection. Any leader knows how important it is to regularly spend time listening for God's guidance, and this devotional will support those efforts.
Perfect for Focusing on Connecting with Others
This easy-breezy devotional from Shauna Niequist is focused on reminding you to savor the everyday moments of connection with friends and family. If you're looking for something that will help you get back to a simple habit of reading and reflecting, you'll find this devotional a great fit. Included are some of Niequist's signature recipes that are perfect for whipping up before having guests over.
Amy Jackson is founder and director of The Perch.