Book Reviews: Listen In

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Listen In: Building Faith and Friendship through Conversations that Matter by Rachael Crabb, Sonya Reeder and Diana Calvin (IVP Books)

listen in 200In Listen In, three women of differing geography and generations share intimate personal conversations with the goal of building profound friendships and deepening faith. The authors include Rachael Crabb, a speaker and worldwide conference leader; Sonya Reeder, a licensed counselor in private practice; and Diana Calvin, a minister focused on discipleship and spiritual formation. 

The book contains six chapters—two about each woman—presented in dialogue that makes the reader feel in the room. Every author tells her story through conversation, immediately followed by a debrief-style response, interspersed with the voices of her friends. Discussions focus initially on the primary speaker’s past experiences and life issues. The other two then add reactions, impressions and questions, ultimately moving into how past and present can lead to a more faith-fulfilled future. The sections close with guides for reflection and group discussion.

The exchanges feel intensely personal and may make the reader uncomfortable with the level of intimacy and vulnerability. However, the authors intentionally model how their friendships and conversations aid spiritual growth and relationships. In the seventh and final chapter, Crabb encourages readers to connect with other women in a similar manner.

While the book could be a valuable study for women’s groups, participating in such three-way conversations should occur only after much thought, prayer, intentionality, trust and commitment to confidentiality.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, immediate past president

Baptist General Convention of Texas


Contagious Disciple-Making: Leading Others on a Journey of Discovery by David L. Watson & Paul D. Watson (Thomas Nelson)

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book watson200In this practical companion to the amazing true stories recorded in Miraculous Movements and The Father Glorified, author David Watson and his son, Paul, share a successful strategy for making disciples and planting churches—an approach many missionaries and mission-sending agencies are using around the world and throughout the United States.

The book is divided into two parts. The first encourages the reader to build the biblical mindset of a disciple who makes disciples, and the second fleshes out the practices of a disciple-maker. The authors present a basic discipling method founded on Jesus’ instructions when he sent out his disciples in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. The method has catalyzed disciple-making movements across the globe and sparked homegrown churches in North America.

Contagious Disciple-Making is a fantastic read for any believer who takes seriously Jesus’ call to be a disciple-maker and wants to develop a missions-mindset. Pastors, church-planters and missions leaders especially should take note of this one.

Greg Bowman, pastor

Brock Baptist Church


We seek to inform, inspire and challenge you to live like Jesus. Click to learn more about Following Jesus.

If we achieved our goal—or didn’t—we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to Eric Black, our editor. Maximum length for publication is 250 words.

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