Reading and Spiritual Leadership

On November 11, Leadership Network is hosting a live, online event on the topic of Leaders & Readers. Six authors will share their thoughts on the role that reading has played in their leadership experiences, drawing content from their latest books–and you can join in with Q & A. (I was glad to work with LN on Whole Church.)

Three books that have made an impact on me are: Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders, Five Smooth Stones by Eugene Peterson, and Between Two Worlds by John Stott.

John Wesley was the ultimate activist, riding thousands of miles on horseback to preach town by town. Yet he found time for study and reflection. In fact, he believed that depth in ministry and spiritual leadership is directly tied to the amount to time the leader invests in growth. Here is part of a letter he wrote to a fellow-pastor who had gotten slack in reading…

What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is, want of reading. I scarce every knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer…. O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercise. You may acquire the taste which you have not: what is tedious at first, will afterward be pleasant. Whether you like it or no, read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty superficial preacher. Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer. Take up your cross and be a Christian altogether. Then will all the children of God rejoice (not grieve) over you.

You can sign up for Leadership Network’s Leaders and Readers here.

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