What Are You Reading?

Getting your staff to read together is really important. I recommend that all staffs read two or three books together every year. It will help keep everyone on the same page, and they’ll talk about it in the halls and at lunch in addition to the planned discussion times. Some of these books may be good for some key committees to read together, and that will help the key leaders be on the same page, too.

I suggest a variety of books on different subjects. Church staffs expect to read books about churches, but what about good biographies of strong leaders (Rockefeller, Jobs, Roosevelt(s), missions stories (Peace Child), business (Good to Great, The E-Myth Revisited), social justice , prayer (The Prayer Circle), or the status of the church in America (American Grace). There are thousands of good books to choose from on any number of subjects—and not only with church-related themes. Fiction such as the Narnia series, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and even the Harry Potter series provide Christ-centered truths. The reading list does not have to be limited to C. S. Lewis (good as he is).

Well-written books will also help your staff members speak and write better as they see some best practices. Book discussions will help the staff communicate more and better with each other to explain their point of view in a non-threatening way (after all, it is “just” a book). And, eventually the staff will have a bookshelf which will impress office visitors (that’s my weakest argument!).

Get the staff to make suggestions. The reading list may start with the pastor’s choice, but it must include good and worthy selections submitted by other staff. The pastor will certainly want to use a book to help the staff focus on a specific topic, but the pastor should not be the only person selecting titles.

Finally, it will be interesting to see just how people read the books—in print or electronically. Each has advantages and detriments. Each method appeals to different types and ages of people. That alone can be worthy of a discussion of how society and the church are changing, and then you can discuss the contents of the book!


Lead On!