The 2013 Leadership Book Awards results are in, and InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that In Search of Deep Faith by Jim Belcher won top honors, being named "Best of the Best" in the category of "The Leader's Inner Life." Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland and Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson also made the "Very Short List" in the category of "The Leader's Outer Life."
In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity tells the story of the one family's pilgrimage to historical places where deep faith was lived out. Belcher had not taken a sabbatical in seventeen years of ministry work so he and his wife, Michelle, decided it was time to recharge and take a year-long break. Jim stepped out of his ministry role, and four months later Jim, his wife and four kids—ages 11, 9, 6 and 4—arrived in Europe where they would embark on a pilgrimage to discover the deep faith of people like C. S. Lewis, Corrie Ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others. Belcher wrote: "All we knew was that the journey would begin in Oxford."
Paul Atwater, a Leadership Journal contributor, said, "In Search of Deep Faith creates a love for courageous Christians of history, connects these discoveries to the challenges of today's world, and charts a course through the European continent that I would love to trek."
In Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart Christena Cleveland, a trained social psychologist, brings to bear the latest studies and research on the unseen dynamics at work that tend to separate us from others. Leadership Journal contributor Dave McDowell commended it as a "well-researched and readable book on the issue of disunity that all of us pastors face but are able to do little about once the wheels are set in motion. Helped to remind me of the importance of dealing with potential problems before they blossom into something more sinister."
In Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission Simpson, whose family knows the trauma and bewilderment of mental illness, reminds us that people with mental illness are our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ, and she shows the path to loving them well. Karen Miller, another Leadership Journal contributor, said, "Amy Simpson gives deep insight into the pain of mental illness for those affected and those who love them. I count this a must-read for those of us in church leadership."
Leadership Journal editors and contributing editors narrowed the titles down to ten, including the two "Best of the Best" titles in the categories of "The Leader's Inner Life" and "The Leader's Outer Life," with four additional titles on the "Very Short List" in each category.