In his book, The Conviction to Lead, Dr. Al Mohler writes these words, “When you find a leader, you have found a reader. The reason for this is simple—there is no substitute for effective reading when it comes to developing and maintaining the intelligence necessary to lead.” (pg. 99)
I vividly recall reading that sentence some years ago, and I knew then and there that I had to commit myself even more to reading. As a Pastor, I am a leader. I lead my Church in many ways: As Shepherd, Elder, the Christian life, Bible Teacher, Theologian, Counselor, and more.
And Dr. Mohler’s point landed squarely with me: I need to read more because I need to be learn more. I need learned men and women speaking truth into my heart and mind so that I can more effectively perform the leadership that God has called me to. And the more I read, the more I realize I need to read more.
And that passion continues today. Here’s what I’ve been reading this month…
The Pastor Theologian - Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson
In this book, Hiestand and Wilson argue for a recovery of the pastorate that has largely gone missing today: The Pastor-Theologian. The book is largely academic, but their point—in my opinion, is well made—is to show how the modern situation has separated the Pastors and the Theologians. Pastors operate in churches and Theologians operate in Universities…and rarely do the two meet. In the book, they argue from history that the ideal situation is to have Pastor-Theologians in our churches, faithfully leading and teaching the Bible, shepherding the people of God, and doing the needed work of theology for the Church in the Church. I wholeheartedly agree.
Playing God - Andy Crouch
I am very interested in the idea and concept of Power. Power is a force that each of us encounter on a daily basis, and it often goes overlooked and unconsidered. In this book, Crouch helpfully introduces the reader to the idea of power, where it comes from, how it is often abused, and how Christians can rightly think about and use power. Highly recommended.
Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition - Andrew Purves
This is a short, compelling read for those interested in the theology of Pastoral Ministry. In other words, what is Pastoral ministry? In this book, Purses overviews a select few pastors from Church history who exemplify, in one or another, the pastors' call to true pastoral ministry. It is among the more helpful approaches to defining the task that I have read.
In this helpful book, counselor Darby Strickland gives the reader a first hand look and understanding of Domestic Abuse. Most people, myself included, tend to think we can easily spot abuse and an abuse victim. For some reason, we think they have a certain look about them that will trigger our notice. But sadly, that is not the case. Domestic abuse is far more prevalent that we might think, and certainly more prevalent than we would imagine. Citing the research from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s Division of Violence Protection, Strickland notes that 1 in 4 women experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner (pg. 27). The numbers only go up as we factor in non-violent abuse. This book is a must read.
Health and Fitness
Run Forever - Amby Burfoot
I am trying to get back to running after spending a good bit of time stretching and strengthening my core and legs. So far, things are progressing well and I am putting in 15-20 miles per week. I have read this book before, but I re-read it this month as a motivation and reminder for some good techniques and practices. Burfoot is a running coach, and former Boston Marathon winner. His insights are helpful and understandable; the book is very readable. If you are a runner of any sort, this book will be a help to you.
The Farm - Wendell Berry
This little book is actually a poem. Berry, in his typical style, takes us to the farm in all its seasons. He beautifully describes—as only he can—the beauties and glories of life on the farm. The details and topics of the poem's movements are just wonderful, and it really is a pleasure to read. Don’t be fooled by the picture, it is a tiny little book…but well worth the read. I love reading Wendell Berry.
Until next time, happy reading…