4. You must read to stay current in a changing world.
If books are any indication of personal growth of senior pastors, a lot of pastors in America stopped thinking when they got out of school. They’re not reading anything new, yet they’re trying to speak on a weekly basis. In today’s society, obsolescence comes very quickly. You can write a science textbook and by the time it gets to press it’s out of date. You cannot live out your entire ministry on what you learned in seminary. You have to keep growing and keep learning.
With that as a background, I want to share with you some tips about how to get more out of your reading:
- Analyze your reading habits to see what you’ve read and what you really need to read next.
- Be intentional about scheduling time for reading, then read snippets of books wherever you are.
- Balance your reading. Read broadly. Include people you don’t agree with. This is how we are stretched.
- Mark up your books and take notes. If you use a reading app, make highlights and store them.
- Know what not to read. Know your favorite authors, read the covers and tables of contents and the bibliographies to see if the book is worth your time.
- Read book reviews and book summaries to process even more books in less time.
- Build your library. Whether you prefer print or ebooks, collect a library to reference and to leave behind.
And above all, remember that the Bible is our number one priority in reading. You can get so caught up in reading other books that you don’t read the Bible. Make time for God’s Word before reading anything else. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We need to spend more time reading it than anything else.
If you want to be a growing leader of a healthy movement, keep reading. It’s the only way to stay out front.