Saturday, August 15, 2009
Disciplined Reading for Bible Teachers
I frequently get questions about what books I recommend for Bible teachers to read. Reading sharpens your mind, gives you access to others' experiences, provides abundant fodder for illustrations when teaching, and improves your perspective.
My general recommendations about reading are:
1. Never short-change your time in the Bible in order to read other materials.
2. Skim widely, on many subjects. Be selective up front about what materials are worth more to you than skimming, and you can save a lot of time.
3. Allocate more time and study to the best authors. Over time you will find a number of books that are worth rereading periodically.
4. Keep reading materials with you, in order to take advantage of times that become available during the day.
5. Mark up your reading. Interact with it. Learn from it. Think about what you're reading.
If you're looking for specific title recommendations, see my list of 75 books which have been very influential on me.
You need to plan to read well. It takes some effort, but remember: we tend to overestimate how much we can do in a day or a week, and greatly underestimate what we can do in a year or 5 years.
If you'd like to learn my strategies for learning faster (not just reading fast, but learning fast, and retaining information), then see Keys to Accelerated Learning
Great Bible teachers are great readers.