To many leaders, pastors, and other Christians who have been through many seasons with God, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline is an instant classic. Exploring leadership disciplines from a more deep, spiritual perspective, this book was originally published in 1978. It has stood the test of time amongst the changes of society and the variations in leadership methods, thanks to its foundation on God’s Word.
Foster breaks his book into three parts. The first one is “Inward Disciplines,” like fasting and prayer. The second one is “Outward Disciplines,” like service and simplicity, and the final one deals with the “Corporate Disciplines,” like confession. I personally learned so much from this book, namely about fasting, simplicity, and the importance of solitude. I have always been involved in leadership positions since high school, but after reading this book I was opened up to the plethora of areas I needed to let God in to grow me. The book is very personal and relatable even though it was written over thirty years ago, and it remains close to my heart among the leadership books in my library.
Two pieces of advice here – this book is quite hefty in the depth department. I would not recommend this to someone who is completely new to Christianity; they could very easily feel overwhelmed at the sheer wisdom packed in every single page of the book. Of course, everyone is different, but that is my personal opinion. Secondly, take some time to digest this book. Don’t speed through it in a week or two.
This book ends up producing an intimate warmth in the hearts of its readers. This is not because of some special magic in the words of the book, but because of the God that dives deeper into your life as you live each discipline out. Remember, it’s all through the Holy Spirit!