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
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