Resources You Can Use: Rooted Takeaways from TGC 2021


When I was a little girl, my mother’s heart always sank to her toes when I opened a birthday party invitation.

I was the girl who always ended up in tears because the party never lived up to my expectations. The cupcakes were strawberry and I like chocolate. There was a game with a prize, and I didn’t win. My best friend had more fun playing with someone else. Somehow the party never lived up to my vision of what it ought to be, and my poor mom had a very disappointed little girl riding home in the back seat of her Buick.

Fast forward to this year’s TGC Women’s and TGC 2021 conference. After a year of social distancing and a newly empty nest, I was super fired up for our Rooted road trip to Indianapolis.

Let me tell you, our time at TGC DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

I was hoping for insightful, rich, challenging teaching. I found it. I was hoping for worship that would glorify God and fill some of the longings from a year of skimpy corporate worship. I sang with thousands of other believers. I was hoping to make life-giving connections with brothers and sisters in Christ. I made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed Christ-centered community. The Rooted family all agreed that being with the body of Christ at TGC was a true taste of the kingdom.

Hoarse from singing and talking and sore from belly-laughing, on the church bus ride home the Rooted team decided to share with you some of what we gained and learned in our time together. Several staff members bought stacks of books at the TGC bookstore, run by Rooted partner 10 of Those, and below are the new titles we are digging in to at home. Some of us also shared our observations in the hope that you, too, would benefit from our experience.

“Make our joy complete” by joining us at the Rooted 2021 Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, this October 7-9.  We want youth pastors to feel welcomed and refreshed. We want parents to feel encouraged and equipped. We want ALL attendees to find kingdom fellowship, joyful worship, edifying instruction, and practical support in the good news of Jesus Christ and the communion of his saints. We’ll show you Southern hospitality and, Lord willing, Rooted will offer you a true taste of the coming kingdom.

Liz Edrington, Steering Committee Emeritus and Fellowship Groups & Young Adults Director, North Shore Fellowship in Chattanooga TN

7 Myths About Singleness by Sam Allberry. This book is absolutely fabulous. Every person in the church should read it. (Editor’s note: YES.) It’s short, it’s accessible, and it provides framework and ideas for how to be the family of God together. We MUST help our students develop a robust theology of singleness and of the family of God.

Tracy Yi, pastor’s wife, mother of three, and essential member of the Rooted family

My biggest takeaway of TGC: be a better student of the Bible, but have it not just be head knowledge. I want God’s Word to transform my heart and flow out of my hands.

Every Moment Holy vol. 1. I have been using these prayers to help me find joy in the mundane daily tasks. And that helps me be a better mom.

Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkin. This will help me be a better student of the Bible.

What the Bible Is All About Bible Handbook for Kids. Being a better mom means I need to help my kids love and treasure the Bible more. My son was excited about this book and told me he is inspired to read his Bible more.

Anna Meade Harris, Editor-in-Chief of the Rooted Blog

Every Moment Holy volume 2 by Doug McKelvey. Every Moment Holy vol. 1 (see above) offers beautiful liturgies for the everyday: for washing of windows, for changing diapers, for first snow. This follow-up, which McKelvey wrote in collaboration with a few grieving families, is profound. I would recommend it to anyone who is grieving a terrible loss or to anyone who is praying for grieving friends.

Reading While Black by Esau McCaulley. I have begun to follow McCaulley’s column in the New York Times, and am always challenged, encouraged and inspired by what he offers. I am reading this book with two friends on the advice of my good friend Kevin Yi, who says it changed the way he views reading the Bible.

Mary Beth Johnston, Director of Ministry Development

I left the conference with a revived love for the word that has in turn been more of a revived love for Jesus. Hearing such great teaching (and being so exhausted at the end of each day) sent me home longing for extended time in the word with the Lord each morning. I typically spend time reading scripture every day, but I’ve realized it had become more of a checklist for me lately instead of a divine (and delightful) appointment with God. He has once again sparked in me a love for his word that I can’t seem to get enough of and that has ultimately lead to a greater love for Him.

Emily Menendez, Grants and Foundations Director

The Secular Creed: Engaging Five Contemporary Claims by Rebecca McLaughlin.

Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. A new classic. This book is easy to read devotionally, and delves into the true heart of Christ.

Parenting First Aid- Hope for the Discouraged by Marty Machowski. I would recommend all his resources to our parents! It’s devotional in nature but looks very doable and he is so solid. Also has a study guide that I didn’t get but look like you can do with a small group which is great. (Editor’s note: look for our upcoming review of this book and study guide.)

Biggest thoughts that I might say about TGC…. over the past year, we have forgotten the importance of not only in-person worship, but also large group corporate worship. TGC was a big scale reminder to me of why being physically present in church each week is so vital. There were thousands of people there, each carrying his or her own burdens in life and in ministry.  Very few will ever be known outside their small circle of influence, very few will pastor enormous churches or become a household name, but all those we worshiped with and spoke with are engaged in the day in-day out effort to walk in faithfulness and care for where the Lord has placed them in leadership. It was an amplified picture of “a long obedience in the same direction.” I came home remembering what a gift it is to participate in worship, and so grateful for so many Christians that are walking imperfectly yet faithfully through their days and encouraging others to do the same.  How beautiful will it be when we reach heaven and see what corporate worship truly looks like!

Kevin Yi, Video Producer and Young Adult Minister at Church Everyday in Los Angeles, CA

Talking Back to Purity Culture by Rachel Joy Welcher

Surviving Religion 101 by Michael Kruger

40 Days of Grace, Love, Hope, and Faith, each by Paul David Tripp

Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church by Soong-Chan Rah

Emily Heide, Executive Director

Before You Lose Your Faith (multiple writers, edited by Ivan Mesa) I have a lot of friends struggling with the church and their faith after a year of such pain and suffering as we endure a pandemic. I am hoping this book helps me to engage them in conversations, pointing them back to Jesus and the hope we have not in this world, but the world that is to come.

Marty Machowski books- A dear friend of mine bought these for me at TGC. She recommended them for elementary and middle school children, both of which I have. 🙂 The Gospel Story Bible has more than 156 Bible stories with beautiful illustrations. Long Story Short and Old Story New are set up as 10 minute devotionals to take your family chronologically through the old and new testaments. It features wonderful teaching illustrations and discussion questions for each devotional. I host a Bible Club for fourth grade girls at my house for a number of weeks each fall and spring. In the fall, we focus on Old Testament stories, and in the spring we talk about stories from the New Testament. I used Old Story New to teach this week, and the kids were engaged by the illustrations and could easily understand the metaphors they referenced. I found it incredibly helpful, and I look forward to using it with my children too.


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