1. Ministers need to be lifelong learners. Remember that it is not necessarily how much you read, but what you read. This is not a matter of either being bookish or not being bookish. Churches deserve a minister who is willing to do hard thinking and who is willing to mine the important books so that the church has access to these thoughts. In a paper entitled, Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople, Tim Keller writes that the pastor must stand between the scholar and the person in the pew, reading and interpreting what the person in the pew might never read. He says that pastors are a bridge between the world of scholarship and the world of the street.
2. I heard James Bryan Smith twice this week at the ACU Summit. He was outstanding as a teacher and communicator. His books The Good and Beautiful God , The Good and Beautiful Life, and The Good and Beautiful Community are well worth reading. Also see Scot McKnight’s fine series on The Good and Beautiful Community.
3. Do you read Michael Hyatt’s blog? I get many practical ideas from him in a number of areas. For example, several of his suggestions have been helpful to me in my personal organization. You may find his blog to be very helpful also. For example, read today’s very fine post (guest written) entitled: “Why Great Teams Tell Great Stories.”
4. Be sure to read J.R. Briggs’ “(45) Practical Pieces of Advice for Young Pastors .” This is an excellent list! It is also an excellent list for those who have been ministers for a long time. Following this list could make a significant difference in a ministry.
6. Today, I had lunch alone at a cafe that I never go to, in a part of town that I rarely drive through. I deliberately went by myself to this place so that I could take in the sights and sounds of people around me in the cafe. I tried to really watch and listen to what was around me. I listened as the waitress expressed her frustration to another customer. I watched as the cook walked through the cafe with a sense of pride about his job. I looked at the cars parked in front of this cafe. I looked at the businesses across the street. As I drove back to the office, I tried to pay attention to the homes, the people walking, and the various businesses.
I did this because I needed to really see this part of our city again. I simply wanted to be present and to stay aware. You might consider doing something like this where you are. I find this helpful.