Ministry Inside.67

What I read each day: Each day I skim the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, The Financial Times, USA Today, The Economist, and The Globe and Mail. Again, I mainly skim the front pages of these publications. Each day, I read Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed and Michael Hyatt’s blog. When I see something that interests me, I typically put it in Evernote to read later.

What I read each week: Several times each week I skim through my Google Reader in order to keep up with several hundred blogs. These blogs are categorized under headings such as: ministry, biblical/theology, culture, leadership, writing, preaching, technology, etc.

Each Thursday, I write a post especially for ministers, pastors, and other church leaders. Some of you may be interested in this information.

What I read regularly: Leadership; Christianity Today; Books and Culture; Christian Century; Conversations, The New York Times Book Review, etc.

Where I go for encouragement: I usually go to the Pepperdine Lectures and to ACU’s Summit. At other times I go to events hosted by Regent College (Vancouver B.C.). I regularly attend the Sermon Seminar hosted buy the Austin Graduate School of Theology. I also attend numerous events (preaching workshops and lectures) hosted by Truett Theological Seminary (Baylor University).

What I do for my learning: I initiate lunches with interesting people in order to learn. (I buy the lunch and then ask these people questions.) I listen to podcasts. Sometimes I listen to a few classes from a university that has posted them on iTunes University. I read widely, both theological books and those not theological. Most of the time, I purchase from Amazon. If I anticipate only reading the book once, I will probably order it for my Kindle. If I anticipate using the book repeatedly, or if it is written by one of my favorite authors, I usually order it in book form.

Bottom line: I often focus on a few authors who I find thoughtful, resourceful, or inspiring. I like authors such as N.T. Wright, David Allen, James Bryan Smith, Peter Scazzero, Eugene Peterson, Scot McKnight, Tim Keller, Ruth Haley Barton, etc. I read authors for different purposes. One author may help me understand the Bible while another might help me with personal organization. One author might help me with understanding the essence of ministry while another might help me learn to communicate better.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Ministry Inside.67

  1. Great ideas Jim. I’m a voracious reader and a life-long learner but there is not much order to my reading/learning. You’ve given me some good ideas here.

    Also, I wanted to thank you for the praise you gave recently on your blog for the “Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.” The journal is produced by school where I studied Spiritual Formation (Talbot School of Theology) and is a fairly new resource so I’m glad that you gave it some attention, as I think it is an excellent resource for pastors and others.

  2. Brian,

    Glad you got some ideas from this post. I am still learning as well. In recent years, I have become more attentive to creating some sense of order about how I read. Probably some of that, Brian, comes from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of books/articles that are available.

    As you noted, I do do think a lot of the journal (Spiritual Formation and Soul Care). A good resource and not always predictable. It is a very good resource.

  3. Though I no longer attend a church connected with the restoration movement, it is good to see so many now who are so well read like yourself. I still enjoy going on line to see how the CoC, CC and DoC are growing and, or, changing. The RM shaped me for many years and I make no apologies in still having an interest in how its churches are meeting the challenges of the present.

    I can remember the time when too much reading of materials outside the “Brotherhood” was considered dangerous, and that all a preacher needed was the Johnson’s New Testement with notes a few sermon outline books that were popular at the time, and, if his salary allowed, a set of the GA commentaries. What a difference a few decades make, right?

    I do think that the CoC is missing out in no longer having a progressive periodical like it did in Mission Journal a number of years ago. Indeed, there are a number of very informative journals and blogs online, and they are to be commended for the splendid work they are doing. But, there was something about having the printed page from so many good thinkers and writers in hand.

  4. John, thanks very much for your words. A few decades does make a difference! Actually, I am so indebted to a number of people who served as very healthy models for me. In fact, a few of these people became mentors. I learned from them so much about the value of thinking, learning, and growing. In fact, to continue to grow only adds value to my life and ministry.

    I do remember Mission Journal. It is going to be interesting to see what will happen to the printed Journal. So much is online and then there are e-books, etc. I take advantage of both print and what is online but the future is going to be interesting.

    Thanks John.