Recommended Resources

“In the midst of the many challenges attached to the outbreak of COVID-19, we remain more committed than ever to shepherding the people of Reach as they strive to be the church and reach the city. There are at least several more weeks separating this moment from the next time we are able to gather together on a Sunday morning—this is obviously disappointing. However, many of us find ourselves with a bit more margin and flexibility in our typical day, creating real opportunity to “believe the truth and do the stuff” as we do our best to live faithfully in an unexpected reality.⁣⁣

On this page I'll be posting some recommended resources for you to consider. Some will be books to read, others will be sermons to listen to, and still others will be videos to watch as you’re able. I’ll be curating the list with the help of the Reach staff, while also leaning on my friends and colleagues across the country, too. If you have questions about anything that is featured or want to recommend a resource of your own, Instagram will be the the easiest and most efficient way to communicate with me (@BrianMcCormack) — I’m excited to hear from you.”

– Brian McCormack

Read

Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning

Many of you will be familiar with Manning’s most famous work, The Raggamuffin Gospel, which is all about how furiously God loves us. This book examines the major obstacle to living in that unconditional love and grace—our struggle to trust God ruthlessly. Last Sunday our online sermon focused on the three-fold truth that in the midst of the chaos, God’s love remains, our trust remains, and the mission remains. This book might be perfect for those of us struggling to trust God with everything in the middle of an unforeseen, difficult situation.

Recommended by our friend, Rich Perez, Lead Pastor of Christ Crucified Fellowship in NYC

Check it out →
People to be Loved by Preston Sprinkle

A couple Sunday’s ago (March 15th) was supposed to mark the start of our second installment of Reach United, our initiative at Reach to pursue unity by diving into the conversations that try to divide us. The author of this book, Preston Sprinkle, was scheduled to preach both of our morning services, as well as a city-wide introduction to the LGBTQ conversation sponsored by Reach. Although we are disappointed we had to postpone due to COVID-19, we are thrilled to have already secured September 20th as the new date. Use the time we have until then to read this book, and be challenged to love courageously.

Recommended by Brian.

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Raised?: Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection

This book by Jonathan K. Dodson & Brad Watson is a great read for the days leading up to Easter. This short book is a pointed look into the resurrection of Jesus, investigating its legitimacy and laying out it’s implications. Well worth your time whether you consider yourself a skeptic, or just someone wanting to dig deeper into the most important event in human history. 

Recommended by Brian.

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Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times

This book profiles five leaders from history who did their best work when things were terrible. Does that sound relevant? I think so. This is what we need right now: courageous leadership from you. Whether you lead a family, a small group, a business, or a non-profit, a ministry, whatever it might be. We need you leading strong in a crazy scary season, for the good of those who follow you. So, as you study and learn from Abraham Lincoln, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Frederick Douglas, and others, I think this book will inspire you for what's in front of you.

Recommended by Brian.

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The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

“To be taken up into what God is doing in the world so that what he is doing becomes your very life, is the greatest opportunity one will ever have.” I first heard those words fifteen years ago, and I've never strayed from saying that they are my favorite quote ever, of all time. Leaning into Jesus in this season, either investigating him for the first time, or seeking deeper intimacy and connection with him all over again, is the greastest thing you could do with the extra time many of us have. In this book you'll learn how to follow him, disciplines to help you along the way, and I have no doubt it will blow you away.

Recommended by Brian.

Check it out →

Listen

“How to Read the Bible Intro: What is the story of the Bible?” an episode of The Bible Project Podcast

This season presents an incredible opportunity to reboot your spiritual disciplines, that is, the rhythms you commit to in order to follow Jesus. This episode is the introduction to a 6-episode series on reading the bible, and will equip you well to engage with scripture. As a general rule, everything these guys put out is equal parts robust and accessible.

Recommended by Brian, who was blessed to study under Tim Mackie at Western Seminary

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“A Little Farther” by Rich Perez

Pastor Rich has become a regular voice at Reach, and pastors a church we are thrilled to partner with in NYC called Christ Crucified Fellowship. This sermon highlights two cups mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24 — one that he shares, and one that he drinks from. Be encouraged and challenged as Rich connects the dots.

Recommended by Brian, who is thankful he gets to consider Rich a good friend.

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“This Love” by Housefires

“This love doesn't leave me all alone
And it never forgets its own
This love won't leave me because my past is bad
Oh, and this love lifts me up above the waves
I don't need to be overwhelmed
Oh, and it raises me upon a rock
So my feet can finally stand on ground…”

Recommended by Megan Johnson.

Check it out →

Watch

The Chosen – TV Show

A multi-season tv show format of the life of Christ. High quality, low cheese, and certain to be an encouragement regardless of who you are, kids included.

Recommended by Stephen Garcia, Reach’s fearless Communications, Media & Production Guru

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The Gospel & Mental Health

As I’ve prayed for the people of Reach over the last few weeks of turmoil, I’ve felt especially burdened for those who deal with anxiety of different kinds in their day-to-day reality. Surely, current events are not making things easier for such people. Not long ago, we facilitated two Sunday services centered around the matter of mental health, pointing to the Gospel of Jesus as our ultimate hope. Zach & Shelby Hendricks did a phenomenal job sharing their story in vulnerability, and Dr. Gerry Breshears of Western Seminary preached a sermon called “What Should I Do if I’m Depressed?” The Q&A that follows was especially poignant. Listen, be encouraged, and share with others who might be encouraged as well.

Recommended by Brian.

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The Bible Project - Luke 24

Our friends at the Bible Project do a beautiful job of presenting the events surrounding the resurrection of Jesus, and pointing to the hope that lies within. “Jesus has passed through death, and passed through on the other side — and he’s going to share the same divine power with us.”

Recommended by Brian.

Check it out →