Here is our most recent list of recommended books (must reads!) from Dr. Fletcher Tink, Executive Director of the Bresee Institute for Metro Ministries (BIMM) and NTS Adjunct Faculty.
Street Signs: A New Direction in Urban Ministry by Ray Bakke and Jon Sharpe (New Hope Publishers, 2006).
Bakke and I are co-teaching in Brazil and Argentina in the newly developing Doctor of Ministry Program through Bakke Graduate University. The book is the latest from this world-famous urban ministry specialist and communicator, offering ways to embrace the city as “parish” and to learn the signs of hope in your city.
Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach to Fun on the Job by Dennis Bakke (PVG, 2006).
Author Dennis Bakke’s Mustard Seed Foundation has awarded $40,000 in scholarship funds to Bresee Institute and NTS for the development of a Theology of Work course that will be offered three times this year. This book shares his journey of faith in the business world, and develops the rationale that mission needs to take place in the marketplace. This book (used in the NTS course) seeks to empower pastors and lay people to rethink “vocation” within the systems of the world, in order to bring them in line with Godly purposes.
Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America by Mike Yankoski (Multnomah Publishers, 2005).
This book looks into the journey of two young college students who set aside six months, grab their guitars and become homeless. They travel through six large American cities, playing their guitars and begging, appearing at churches and missions, with shocking observations and delightful insights as to how people, including Christians, extend or refuse hospitality. The book confronts the reader with his or her own caricatures and hypocrisies, but is never mean-spirited.
Reading the Bible with the Damned by Bob Ekblad (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005).
The book spends time focused on immigrants and the undocumented living in northwestern United States. The author “moves the Bible away from safe, conventional church venues and reads afresh among the alienated and the marginalized. The effect of such a new interpretive context is that the text takes on a poignancy and sharpness that bespeaks the stirring of God’s spirit.” I tell my students that we read the Bible differently according to how much money we have in our pocket or bank account. To read the Bible through the eyes of the poor is to hear a hope that too often has deteriorated in monotony for those unchallenged. I periodically preach to about 50 undocumented workers while they wait under a bridge for day jobs. This book has helped me relate to them.