On My Shelf helps you get to know various writers through a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. I corresponded with Darrin Patrick, lead pastor of The Journey in St. Louis and a Council member for The Gospel Coalition, about what’s on his nightstand, books he re-reads, and biographies that have shaped him.


What’s on your nightstand right now?

Lately I’ve been on a leadership kick: 

● Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed by Michael Eisner and Aaron Cohen

● Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter by Gautam Mukunda

I’m also reading:

● Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown

● Collected Writings on Scripture by D. A. Carson

● Jesus Outside the Lines by Scott Sauls

● New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp

If you’re trying to visualize that stack, know that I have most of these on Kindle.

What books do you regularly re-read and why?

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Tim Keller. It’s really easy for us to pit things against each other that God holds together, like evangelism and social justice. This book is a constant reminder that God shows his holiness by defending the cause of the orphans and widows. A church for the city is going to care for the vulnerable and marginalized.

A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture by Mark Thompson. I re-read this book to remind myself about the importance of biblical authority in my life and the life of the church.

The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. So many times I find myself in a depleted state in my life and ministry. This book reminds me that my problem is not external circumstances or even internal emotions, but that my affections for Christ need to be rekindled.

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper. At times, it feels like the size and complexity of our church requires me to function like a CEO. This book recalls my need for a shepherd’s heart.

What biographies or autobiographies have most influenced you and why?

George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father by Thomas Kidd and Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George Marsden. I am so inspired by Whitefield’s passion for the lost. He met people where they were and spoke to the common man. I love Marsden’s focus on Edwards as a family man, a pastor, a writer, and a participant in a major move of God. I identify with all of these spheres (hoping for a major move of God) and so appreciate the way Marsden shows us how Edwards navigated through them.


Editors’ noteRegister to see Darrin Patrick speak on various topics at our 2015 National Conference next month, April 13 to 15, in Orlando.

Also in the On My Shelf series: Tony Reinke, Tim KellerBryan ChapellLauren ChandlerRussell MooreJared WilsonKathy KellerTullian TchividjianJ. D. GreearKevin DeYoungKathleen NielsonThabiti AnyabwileCollin HansenFred SandersRosaria ButterfieldNancy Guthrie, and Matt Chandler.