Monday, January 24, 2011
Who are you reading?
Not all of these are books meant to be read. For example, a commentary is more likely to be used as a resource for specific causes (sermons and Bible studies) than to be read from cover to cover. Some of them are not books at all ( broke down and purchased TLSB for computer -- read that The Lutheran Study Bible). Some of them are books for personal edification (bought the Valerius Herberger volume). Some of them are pure theology (a new book on natural law). Some of them are history. I could go on...
My point is that Pastors need to read -- read things that are of the faith, that challenge your faith, that equip you for your task (preaching, for example) and that build you up and edify you as an individual. But don't stop there. I read and follow very closely a dozen or so blogs and then occasionally visit another couple of dozen blogs. I read news and commentary. I read sci fi and I read classics. I read and I read because I forget too much. But it is what helps me keep the preaching fresh and my approach to things fresh and new.
If you are a lay person, why not give your Pastor an Amazon gift card or make sure that the church budget includes money to provide such resources that will help him keep fresh, keep encouraged, and keep new. $500 sounds like a lot for this but it may only purchase 15 books or so. Journals have pricey subscription costs and average about $30-40 per year per periodical.
I hope you will join me in getting some new books, sitting down and working through some of them, and using some as new reference books to inform your pastoral responsibilities and equip you for the daily task... It is a deep and abiding responsibility that is made easier when we open a book or two or a dozen or two... Try it sometime.