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 is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.