Natasha’s Study: A 2015 Reading Challenge

I reason I have a weekly “Natasha’s Study” column on this blog is because I lead and I write. It is believed that those who lead and write well, also read often. Over the past 3 1/2 years of attending seminary, I have read many books about theology and leadership. While I love both of those topics, I also have other interests which has lead me to accumulate quite a large stack of unread books. When I graduated in May 2014, I got into this bad habit of starting new books on a whim: “You know I really want to read that,” or “I have been waiting to read that book for a while.” Since I have accumulated so many great books, I was frequently starting and not finishing many of them.

As the year drew to a close, I committed to finishing the books I had already started and only intentionally beginning new ones. My intentional monthly reading plan for 2015 falls into five categories:

1 book for work

I am the Assistant Director of the Center for the Development of Evangelical Leadership at the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Right now, I am focused on two initiates: 1.) Our partnership with the Mosaix Global Network, an organization that focuses on training, coaching, and providing conferences for pastors who are leading in a multi-cultural church context and 2.) An initiative for Christian leaders who are working in “secular” businesses or marketplaces. So I am reading about multi-ethnic church ministry and leadership in the corporate workplace.

1 book for writing/teaching

I have already identified my next book project and am now beginning to research for it. It is also important that I become a better student of the Bible, so I am reading for both my personal spiritual growth and in preparation for the opportunities God will give me to teach.

1 book I want to read

While attending seminary, there is absolutely no space for “pleasure reading.” Although I was required to read many books that I enjoyed, I want to clearly identify and read books that I want to read. Currently, I am particularly interested in reading biographies so I have a few of those lined up.

1 book for learning

This category provides some overlap because technically we learn whenever we take in new information. For this category, however, I am particularly thinking about reading books that can potentially answer some of the questions I have.

1 book about leadership

This is pretty self-explanatory category, and again there is some overlap here. I am pretty excited to read several leadership books that I have lined up.

In January, I have completed reading two books from last year, and I still have five books to finish. Currently, I am reading:

1 book for work: Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church: Mandates, Commitment, and Practices of a Diverse Congregation by Mark DeYmaz  

1 book for writing/teaching: The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (This is one of my carry over reads from last year.)

1 book I want to read: Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More-Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior

1 book for learning: Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien (This is another one of my carry over reads from last year.)

1 book about leadership: The Elements of Preaching: The Art of Biblical Preaching-Clearly and Simply Presented by Warren Wiersbe & Daivd Wiersbe

What are you currently reading? What is your reading plan for 2015?

© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2015

This image might help:

2015 Reading Challenge



Published by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Servant of Jesus. Truth-teller. Leader. Mentor. Author of Books.

4 thoughts on “Natasha’s Study: A 2015 Reading Challenge

  1. Recently, I read All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. It’s been on my to-read list for a while. I was intrigued by the premise, and I thought it might be my type of book. I was right. It’s 530 pages and I read it in one day. I’m currently reading Still Life, by Louise Penny. She’s one of my favorite mystery authors, but I hadn’t read this one, her debut novel. So far, it’s good.

  2. I love this idea of purposeful reading categorized! I wrote my 2015 list, but I’m going to categorize it and make sure my list is not one-sided, and captures what I want to achieve. Thanks for sharing! I’m currently in the middle of two books, one classic and one biography. This is great motivation to commit to finishing!

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