My wife works at a learning center that, among other things, teaches students reading skills. The center start this emphasis with its youngest students, preschoolers, and continues to the oldest, who are in high school.
Reading is virtually a prerequisite to pastoral ministry. However, pastors and Baptist leaders are in danger of wasting their reading skills. Pastors should strive to be well read. Being well read is different from being a voracious reader, although those descriptors are not mutually exclusive. A well-read person reads from a variety of sources and time periods. Here are some categories of reading material that will help you evaluate the breadth of your reading habits.
- The Bible—Let’s not assume the obvious. Are you regularly reading the Bible and not just what you are studying for ministry obligations?
- Commentaries—Do you read from multiple commentators, even some you don’t agree with?
- Church History—Both original source church fathers and secondary sources?
- Theology—Have you read cover to cover a book on a given theological issue?
- Church Ministry—Stretch your thinking, enlarge your idea reservoir, and develop your skills.
- Ethics—I have found that reading Jewish rabbis’ writings on ethics has helped me know how to apply the Bible to everyday living.
- Literary Classics—The great books of literature are a gold mine of illustrations.
- Philosophy—Read any Plato? How about Kant? Descartes?
- Contemporary Fiction—Many popular writers are masters of developing word pictures.
- Newspapers—Do you know what is currently happening in your town, country, world?
- The Quest Website—Just making sure you are still paying attention!
Reading is a wonderful gift. Let’s not waste it!
What other categories would you include? Read a good book lately? Submit a paragraph (or longer) review that we can post on this website. God bless, and happy reading!