importance of reading

Three Books YOU Should Read


I love to talk about books (I’m a pastor and I work in a library, what can you expect?) At many of the staff meetings of The Rescue Church, I ask my staff what they are reading. I have learned through great men and women that Leaders ARE Readers!

I want to share with you three books that I am currently reading. I HIGHLY recommend each one of them:

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

I discovered this book roughly a month ago. I have been meeting with a pastor to be mentored in regards to ministry. I asked him for a list of books that he would recommend. Out of this list, I had him narrow it down to one that had impacted him the most. This is that book.

The tagline of this book is, “It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” Scazzero lays out the symptoms of “emotionally UNhealthy spirituality” and offers a remedy. Specifically, he shares his own experience of: avoiding conflict in the name of Christianity; ignoring his anger, sadness, and fear; using God to run from God; and living without boundaries.

There was even a point in Peter’s ministry that his wife quit his church because she did not trust his leadership. Whether you are in ministry or not, you NEED to read this book because ALL of us are emotionally unhealthy in varying degrees.

Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

This book is a modern classic, originally published in 1978. When it comes to disciplines, celebration is usually not a word we would use to describe them. Foster writes about a variety of classic Christian disciplines that have been practiced for centuries by believers seeking to be transformed by God’s Word and Spirit.

To give you a snapshot of this book, here is a quick summary:

“Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the spirit, Foster shows how each movement contributes to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues for personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service prepare us to help make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and to God.”

I promise that you will be challenged, convicted, encouraged, and transformed if you study this book with a humble and teachable spirit!

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Hands down, this is the best devotional I have used. Chambers was born in 1874 and died in 1917. The fact that this book is still extremely popular is a testimony to the timeless truths that Chambers shares. As a devotional, the book is divided up by dates with short readings for each day of the year. Every morning, you will find my Bible, a highlighter, and this book on my desk.

By reading this book side-by-side with Scripture, you will be encouraged to fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, kill indwelling sin, and love people with profound compassion. If you have never used this book as a devotional, or even if you have, READ it!

Now I want to ask you the same question I ask those on my staff: What books are YOU reading? What should I read next? Leave a comment and let me know!

Leaders ARE Readers.


Leaders are readers.

I have no idea who first shared that statement. It is something I hear numerous times in leadership and yet it is often overlooked. If you are going to lead, you NEED to be reading; not just in your area of study but in all disciplines (to a certain degree).

Below are three reasons YOU need to be reading a wide variety of books/blogs on a daily basis.

  1. Reading connects you with the past.

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of dead people that have much more wisdom than you or I. Most of my favorite books are written by people who have been dead for centuries. The really beneficial aspect of reading old books is that the wisdom has been tested and proven true.

Truth is timeless.

If the book is sharing REAL truth then it will stand the test of time. If the writing is more focused on pop psychology and fads, no one will remember it 100 years from now – so why read it? If the book has stood the test of time, you NEED to be learning from it.

  1. Reading allows you to have a conversation with people you will (probably) never meet.

If you are going to grow both as a person and a leader, you need to be around people who are farther along than you are in your field of study. This is the reason mentors are so important; they can share wisdom and experience with you.

Reading is a conversation.

One of the reasons I find reading so beneficial is that it is not a lecture. You are able to read, ponder, and meditate at your own speed as you study literature. I love to journal and speak my thoughts verbally as I read a book. It allows me to digest the information and, in a way, have a conversation with the author who has much more experience, knowledge, and wisdom in their specific field than I do.

  1. Reading improves your writing and speaking ability.

Being able to write efficiently and speak pervasively are arguably the most important skills you will ever develop. If you want to make a difference and impact the world (which I hope we all do) you NEED to be able to clearly express yourself as both a dynamic speaker and influential writer.

Don’t believe me? Do a Google search for “skills that employers look for” and I guarantee both writing and speaking will make virtually every top ten list you can find.

By spending time reading both modern and historic literature, you will expand your vocabulary and have a better understanding of others’ viewpoints. When you are reading the works of another person, you are able to enter into their thoughts; this will help you immensely both to understand and connect with your audience.

Reading connects you with the past, allows you to converse with various authors, and improves your writing and speaking ability.

How has reading helped YOU grow as both a person and a leader? Leave a comment and let me know!