Bri Johns – Student Pastor, Gilbert Campus
If you’re like me, it’s hard to find time or even the motivation to sit down and read. With as busy as life can get, I often just want to plop on the couch and veg out to my favorite reality show (no brain activity needed; please pass the chips). What I love about our Senior Pastor is that he’s always coaching us as a staff and a church to grow. The phrase he most commonly uses is, “Leaders are readers.” If you’re not reading, you’re not growing and developing as a person.
“A good book has no ending.” ~R.D. Cumming
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” ~Oscar Wilde
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~Richard Steele
It’s true. When you fill your mind with knowledge and read about other opinions, history, stories, life lessons and scripture, you can’t help but expand your mind and gain wisdom. That is what can develop you into a more well-rounded person and a better leader. Now I’m not saying that all books contain incredible wisdom or are the best to fill our minds with, but even some of those books out there with differing opinions than scripture can be stretching.
In order for us to grow, we’ve gotta set some goals to read. It’s time to get off the couch and develop as leaders. This blog is dedicated to my Book-Reading-Challenged Friends.
80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
57 percent of new books are not read to completion.
The average American spends 35 hours a week watching TV.
These statistics might help you in setting your goals for reading…
The average adult reads at about 300 words per minute.
A 200-page book comes in at right around 80,000 words.
Using that standard, it takes the average adult reader about 4.5 hours to read a book.
If we were to be liberal with the numbers and say it takes you 7 hours to read a book, then that would give you plenty of time to slow down, reflect, take notes, etc. Let’s not put too much pressure on ourselves and fail at this like we do in almost all of our New Year’s resolutions.
If you were to look at your schedule and really carve out some time for reading each day. Taking the liberal statistics above…
An hour a day puts you at 4-5 books a month/52 books a year.
A half an hour a day comes out to 2-3 books a month/26 a year.
15 minutes each day means 1-2 books a month/13 books a year.
Most of us can spare 15 minutes a day! Now it’s about discipline and finding something that’s interesting enough that you look forward to reading each day.
Some of my favorite books I’d like to suggest are…
The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Of course I’m not going to neglect that the first book we should always grab for is our Bibles. Psalm 119:10 says that, “Your Word is lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We can find incredible wisdom, encouragement, and leadership training from the Bible. This year I believe our church will be transformed through the Bible reading plans we have coming up.
So Friends… It’s time to dive in! Grab that book and take some time this week to become a better leader (reader)!