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.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.