Three tips for growing through reading from Tim Johnson.
How can you tell when a minister graduated from theological college? Just check his or her book collection and find the latest one published.
An old joke that is only funny because it is too often true in spirit if not in fact. A mere few years of theological study at its best equips people with the right tools and stimulates a passion for a lifetime of ongoing learning. There is a need to read and keep on reading to deepen in our thinking and ministry.
So how can we ensure that we are growing through ongoing reading? Ministry places serious demands on our time and it is easy for reading and thinking to be pushed aside by the sermon that needs writing, the parishioner who needs visiting or the mounting administration. I’ve found the following three disciplines helpful in ensuring that I keep growing through reading.
1. Book reading time
In my second year of ministry my supervisor helpfully challenged me about how much wider reading I was actually doing. He pointed out that I’d soon become shallow and trite in my preaching if I wasn’t growing through reading.