Seven Questions about Books, Life, and Ministry with Bryon Wilkes

Posted On September 20, 2017

Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)

Currently, I serve as Worship Pastor at New City Church in Alma, GA. New City was planted seven years ago (in October) and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.  I’m very happily married to my bride Ruthie, and we have two daughters. Storm is 21 and Lily is 5. Lily just started K5 homeschool and is loving it, and her Mommy is doing an incredible job teaching her. I love to spend time with my family. Since my office at the church is only a half mile from our house, we are able to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner together every day, which is a tremendous blessing! I also love to read. Ruthie and I typically read at night after Lily is in bed in addition to our Bible reading. I’m a lifelong music lover, so I enjoy listening to many different types of music, especially jazz, and playing it as well. I’ve been a drummer since I was a young boy and still love to play when I get a chance.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading Worship by the Book by Mark Ashton, R. Kent Hughes, Tim Keller and edited by D.A. Carson.

What are some books you regularly re-read and why?

I haven’t actually re-read anything of late that I can recall, primarily because I keep a fairly extensive backlog of books to be read. I would say that The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul would certainly be one I would and will re-read as well as Desiring God by John Piper and The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink. The reason why would be that they provide for me a larger and higher and proper view of God.

What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?

Most recently I’ve read The Historic Boldness of Martin Luther, The Daring Mission of William Tyndale and The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards by Steven Lawson. I also recently finished A God Entranced Vision of All Things ed., John Piper and Justin Taylor which I had started last year.

Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?

All of those I mentioned earlier have had a great influence on me, particularly the biographies in Lawson’s A Long Line of Godly Men series. They are great reminders of the tremendous sacrifices made for the cause of Christ by many who came long before us.

If you were sitting down with a fellow believer and they asked for your top five book recommendations on Christian living, what would they be?

Disclaimer: I’m terrible at Top 5 (or 3 or 10) lists. I would say:

1.) The Bible (That may sound cliché, but I truly believe far too many Christians do not read their Bibles. It is all we need.

2.) The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul.

3.) Foundations of Grace by Steven Lawson.

4.) The Attributes of God or The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink.

5.) Knowing God by J.I. Packer.

What books have molded how you to serve and lead others in the gospel? 

Certainly, the Bible is the foremost help to me in serving and leading others. Again, it contains everything we need in this life. It is absolute truth. Also, as a worship pastor, Worship Matters and True Worshipers by Bob Kauflin have been very helpful as well as Doxology & Theology ed., Matt Boswell and A Taste of Heaven by R.C. Sproul. Those volumes on worship have helped me focus on being gospel-centered in worship leading and pastoring the people I lead each week. The books I mentioned in the top five have also been truly helpful.

Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus? 

It is so crucial to remain rooted and grounded in God’s Word and in fellowship with Him in prayer. Life will quickly replace the relationship with God with any and everything else, often good things. It is a daily battle. Yet, I find that His mercies are new every morning and that He grants grace for each new day and for that I am so very thankful.

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