I used to hate reading. I mean, hate it. It had to change in college. It helped that I began to enjoy what I was reading. When I had to read through a book on Jesus for class, I got more into reading.
Through college, seminary, and doctoral work, my reading lists were mandated to me. I acquired extra books I hoped to get around to but never could. Now, with school behind me, I have some free time.
So, I decided to make a 2010 reading resolution. Before you write me off, I’m just like you. I hate resolutions. Because I often fail at those, but what I have learned about myself is without a target, I don’t hit anything. Due to having to plan series out so far in advance at church, I have learned systems to make myself more productive by staying stuck to a schedule. But what kind of reading plan could I come up with?
I realized this about me: I can get in a thematic rut when reading. It is easy for pastors to read books on church growth but never pick up one on becoming a better husband. One night as I was trying to fall asleep, I kept thinking about the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30). What if I worked on those areas this year?
While this is not exactly what the biblical message was implying, here is how I am going to rotate through book options:
- Week 1 – HEART – issues on being a husband, father, man
- Week 2 – SOUL – Christian living issues to bring me closer to Jesus
- Week 3 – MIND – academic reading to stretch me, challenge me, or equip me to combat against
- Week 4 – STRENGTH – leadership development as a minister
Using that model, I hope to get through all kinds of books. That means 48 books this year. For the four five-week months, I will get a grace week to catch up, but I will try to read 4 books a month.
My goal of books is way daunting for me. I am already dreading typing this and telling you I failed at it in two weeks, but I need accountability. So, I am going to try and make this and provide a book of the week highlight each week (except for months with 5 weeks). I already have the books lined up on the shelf, even though I keep changing a couple of them in and out.
Without vision, the people perish. Without a target, you can’t aim. So, here we go.