5 Book Recommendations for Cross-Cultural​ workers in 2020

Dec 18, 2019 | 2 comments

Happy Skill Building Thursday!

I love this time of year and the book lists that start popping up. Looking back at the books I read in 2019 I have five recommendations for cross-cultural workers.

If you feel like you want to be a bit more grateful in 2020

Read Life Without Lack by Dallas Willard. This book is based on Sunday School class that Dallas Willard taught on Psalm 23. He taught on what it looks like to live in the fullness God has for you. I read this in Kindle and want to get a physical copy because I marked up so many pages that I need a physical book!

If you want to learn about the enneagram in 2020

Okay, everyone is talking about the enneagram but you don’t know where to start. My friend Kimberly recommended this book and every book recommendation from Kim is an absolute gem. Mirror for the Soul by Alice Frying was no different. Read this book in 2020 and you will see why many are finding the enneagram a useful tool. Bonus, Fryling included multiple passages of scripture with reflection questions. So, not only will you learn about the enneagram, you will meet God in this book. (Then watch the workshop on the enneagram and team . . . with your team.)

If you want to develop women in your organization in 2020

The subtitle of this book hits on why you might not want to read this book. Developing Female Leaders: Navigate the minefields and relate the potential of women in your church by Kadi Cole is not written with an agenda other than . . . developing female leaders. This book respects the spectrum of views on gender in leadership, while being a helpful resource. If you want to develop the women on your team or in your organization, this is your book. Bonus: it includes 8 best practices we all can adopt and benefit from.

If you are wanting to think through culture engagement in 2020

Read Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa by Rachel Pieh Jones. Though a Christian, Annalena does not fit the mould of an “M” in her approach to work. However, her way of interacting with the culture and having love as the unending heartbeat of her work is worth pondering. You might feel inadequate, confused, or challenged by Annalena, but I promise you this, you will not be bored. (Stay tuned for April’s challenge! Rachel will join in on a live webinar where you can interact with her.)

If you want to be a better follower in 2020

So many books focus on leadership, but most of us are not in top leadership positions. You need to follow someone — it could be a team leader, a regional leader, or a project leader. In 2020 grow as a follower by reading Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture by Allen Hamlin. Though not written only for “m’s,” Allen Hamlin Jr. lives and serves cross-culturally so the examples he uses in this book directly apply to you. Get the companion discussion guide and go through it with your team.

Two Bonus Books that were labors of love in 2019 and I hope make your 2020 reading list. Getting Started: Making the Most of Your First Year in Cross-Cultural Service and Enjoying Newsletters: How to Write Christian Communications People Want to Read

What did you read in 2019 that someone in 2020 should read? Happy Reading!

God wants to meet with you. If you’re not sure where to start, in this month’s workshop, Spiritual Director Lane Arnold presents about 15 short activities for you to meet with God. Buy it today and do one a day until Epiphany. 

Amy Young

Life enthusiast. Author. Sports lover. Jesus follower. Supporting cross-cultural work.




  1. Elise Paty

    Thanks for these recommendations, Amy! Super excited to add some of these titles to my “want to read” list for 2020!

    • Amy Young

      You’re welcome 🙂 . . . I love books, reading, and sharing books. Win, win, win :)!


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