I admit it. I have not always had a love of reading. But it didn’t take long as a young Worship Pastor at The Journey for me to recognize my need to read in order to survive in ministry, much less lead a thriving worship team.
I first started in ministry at age 23. I was fresh out of college. I had been a worship leader, but I had never been a Worship Pastor in the church before. I could stand onstage and lead worship, but I couldn’t write a task list, build teams, lead people . . . you get the picture.
It was at that point – aware of my personal and ministry shortcomings, and certain that I needed to make a change – that I developed a love for reading.
How about you? Have you been there?
This Summer you and I have a unique opportunity. While most of the world looks at summer and says, “I’m going to take it easy and just GLIDE through the summer,” you and I can choose a better course. We can choose to GROW this summer.
I believe that’s what God would have us do. Psalm 90:12 says:
“Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
One of the fundamental pathways to growth is reading. Charles Johnson said, “You are the same today that you are going to be five years from now except for two things: the people with who you associate and the books you read.”
So here are 3 Powerful (and Easy) Reading Goals to help you make the most of your time and grow in wisdom this summer:
#1 – READ IN YOUR AREA
That is, read what will help you grow as a Worship Leader. Read books, magazines, and articles on how to become a better Worship Leader. Listen to audio books or watch DVDs to get new training as a Worship Leader.
This could be rephrased as “Reading for Skill”. But whatever you call it, invest time this summer becoming better at the central thing that you do – leading worship and your worship ministry.
Here’s some of what I’m reading in this area this summer: Worship Leader Magazine, Worship Musician Magazine, Worship Facilities Magazine, Church Production Magazine.
I also have on my reading dock this summer watching Tom Jackson’s DVDs on “Expressive Worship” and listening to audio from conferences and seminars on my iPod.
#2 – READ FOR PERSONAL GROWTH
You also want to read for your overall personal development this summer. This could include books on leadership, time management, how to be a better parent, goal setting . . . the list goes on.
Here’s the key to this goal. Identify 1-2 key areas that you would like to grow in over the summer and read a book on that topic.
As you read on that topic, you will begin to implement the lessons you are learning and will begin to see the immediate positive effects of growth in that area of your life.
When you finish that book. Identify another area and read a book on that. By constantly reading in these areas you will ensure that you are continuing to grow into the person you want to be as you serve God, lead your family, and so on.
#3 – READ FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Invest in your spiritual growth this summer as well. The summer is a great time to change up your spiritual growth routines in order to keep them fresh. To start a new Bible study, pilot a new spiritual growth plan, or just identify an area of your spiritual life that you want to deepen and go to work on it.
For me, I recently started a new Bible study plan for my personal quiet time to freshen it up and will be re-reading one of the books that tends to make it on my spiritual growth rotation every couple years, “The Purpose Driven Life.”
Don’t let the summer go by and look back only to realize that you are actually further away from God than when you started.
BONUS – READ FOR FUN
It’s ok to read for fun you know 🙂 So feel free to pick up a novel or a quick read just for the enjoyment of reading. Personally, I love crime mystery novels and over the last 6 months or so I have been making my way slowly through the complete collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” novels and short stories. It’s been a fun and fascinating read . . . and a great change of pace to some of the other books I’m reading.
What’s on your summer reading list? Let me know by posting at www.jasonhatley.wordpress.com.
Your partner in ministry,
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