“The Best Book I Read This Year”: On Work, Rest and Purpose

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What’s the best book you’ve read this year? We posed this question to our Intersect contributors, and we’ll share their recommendations over the coming weeks.

Today, our contributors highlight books on work, rest, purpose and economics — from authors Sebastian Traeger, Greg Gilbert, Curtis Zackery, Tomáš Sedláček and Simon Sinek.

Editor’s Note: You can download two Intersect-exclusive ebooks from Bruce Ashford for free. Details>>

The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs
by Sebastian Traeger and Greg D. Gilbert (Zondervan, 2014)

Ryan HutchinsonRyan Hutchinson: The Gospel at Work is a great resource for any believer who is trying to understand how they serve God well in their jobs.

Usually we end up with work falling in the category of idolatry or idleness, but this book instructs the believer on how to bring glory to God regardless of the working context in which you find yourself.

Soul Rest: Reclaim Your Life. Return to Sabbath.
by Curtis Zackery (Kirkdale Press, 2018)

Sara Beth FentressSara Beth Fentress: Sabbatical is often thrown out as a last life ring to a drowning ministry leader, not as a normal part of the Christian life. The tagline of the book is “Reclaim Your Life, Return to Sabbath.” Zackery is transparent and vulnerable with his own need to rest, and he offers readers encouragement and a strong argument to create a rhythm of rest in the midst of exhausting ministry life.

He argues that true rest is the only place to find sustaining energy to fulfill our life’s purpose. True rest only comes from our heavenly Father.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
by Simon Sinek (Portfolio, 2011)

Jeremy BellJeremy Bell: Sinek’s book has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, but his leadership principles can be carried over into a Christian context. Believer’s have the greatest “why” of all, to make disciples by taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Yet we need leaders who can inspire and motivate God’s people to embrace and carry out the mission no matter the cost. The Christian community — church leaders, in particular — can learn from Sinek about how to become more effective as leaders within the local church and take the gospel outside the four walls of a building. This book will help you grow as a leader, or at least spark some thoughts as you lead people in God’s faith community.

Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street
by Tomáš Sedláček (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Logan SmithLogan Smith: In his seminal work Tomáš Sedláček exposes the reader to a journey through myth, history, legend and film as he argues for a human-focused approach to how economic value is calculated. 

(Read Logan’s review of The Economics of Good and Evil.)


What is your favorite book of the year? Comment below and let us know!

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The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

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