How many books a year do you read?

in Youth Pastor Spiritual Life on October 9, 2012

 
How many books a year do you read? 
This is a great question.  It reveals if you are truly a learner.
When I meet up with youth pastors we often talk about struggles, or other issues that we are currently facing.  I love being able to help another youth worker out by referring them to a book.  More often than not, I get the response, “ya, I won’t read it.”  Why are we so resistant to help and advice from other youth workers in town, or online?  I think somewhere in our youth ministry foundation we have become unteachable.  We have become stuck in a programmatic rut.  You have maintained the status quo.
Youth workers need to realize that we need to be life long learners.  With that we need to read books, and learn from other youth workers.  Next year (2013) one of my personal goals is to read 52 books.  That is one book a week.
A leader needs to be constantly learning.  This is why I would love to know how many books you have read this year.
 
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Alex Foltz at 1:21 pm

Great advice/challenge, thanks for this! I have the opposite problem when I’m recommended a book. I order the book, get 3 chapters in, then pick up something else. It’s the reading equivilant of “I’m sorry to hear about your problem, I’ll pray for you” and then never praying. I NEVER FINISH BOOKS!

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kolby milton at 2:46 pm

Thanks for the comment alex. I don’t think the point is to finish a book, it is to understand the content. Once I get the point of the book, I put it down.

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Heather Lea Campbell at 9:56 pm

I do the same thing with a lot of Christian literature, because usually I can get the point pretty quickly. I’m also a master-skimmer. ha.

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Alex Foltz at 1:21 pm

Great advice/challenge, thanks for this! I have the opposite problem when I’m recommended a book. I order the book, get 3 chapters in, then pick up something else. It’s the reading equivilant of “I’m sorry to hear about your problem, I’ll pray for you” and then never praying. I NEVER FINISH BOOKS!

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kolby milton at 2:46 pm

Thanks for the comment alex. I don’t think the point is to finish a book, it is to understand the content. Once I get the point of the book, I put it down.

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Heather Lea Campbell at 9:56 pm

I do the same thing with a lot of Christian literature, because usually I can get the point pretty quickly. I’m also a master-skimmer. ha.

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Austin McCann at 2:01 pm

Leaders are readers…

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Austin McCann at 2:01 pm

Leaders are readers…

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Rachel Blom at 4:12 pm

I seriously read more than 50 books a year…I think I’m close to a 150 actually. I try to read one non fiction book a week (history, biographies, theology and of course a lot of youth ministry stuff) and I read an awful lot of fiction as well. Let’s not forget that we can learn from fiction as well. People often diss it, but there are great lessons in there as well (and research shows we do learn from fictional stories!). So keep reading people!

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Heather Lea Campbell at 9:50 pm

reason #13048714 why Rachel Blom is legit.

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kolby milton at 2:32 am

150 a year! awesome. I definitely through fiction in there also. You need to write a blog post on how to read 150 books a year!

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Rachel Blom at 4:12 pm

I seriously read more than 50 books a year…I think I’m close to a 150 actually. I try to read one non fiction book a week (history, biographies, theology and of course a lot of youth ministry stuff) and I read an awful lot of fiction as well. Let’s not forget that we can learn from fiction as well. People often diss it, but there are great lessons in there as well (and research shows we do learn from fictional stories!). So keep reading people!

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Heather Lea Campbell at 9:50 pm

reason #13048714 why Rachel Blom is legit.

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kolby milton at 2:32 am

150 a year! awesome. I definitely through fiction in there also. You need to write a blog post on how to read 150 books a year!

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Andrew Evans at 1:06 am

I disagree that leaders are readers. I do believe that leaders are learners, but not everyone learns the same way. It is possible to read tons of books and not learn much. I am a reader and I like Kolby’s goal of 52 books, but I have friends who are not readers and that kind of goal would be a hindrance more than a help. I think it is important that leaders are always learning, particularly learning how they learn. Find the best method of learning for you and stick with it.

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kolby milton at 2:34 am

great comment andrew. I know that people learn differently, and they could listen to audio books instead, or read an awesome blog, or reviews of books.

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Andrew Evans at 4:42 pm

Thanks Kolby. Appreciate your blog and ministry.

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Andrew Evans at 1:06 am

I disagree that leaders are readers. I do believe that leaders are learners, but not everyone learns the same way. It is possible to read tons of books and not learn much. I am a reader and I like Kolby’s goal of 52 books, but I have friends who are not readers and that kind of goal would be a hindrance more than a help. I think it is important that leaders are always learning, particularly learning how they learn. Find the best method of learning for you and stick with it.

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kolby milton at 2:34 am

great comment andrew. I know that people learn differently, and they could listen to audio books instead, or read an awesome blog, or reviews of books.

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Andrew Evans at 4:42 pm

Thanks Kolby. Appreciate your blog and ministry.

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Brian Seidel at 1:14 pm

I agree that leaders need to be learners, but that does not automatically mean they are readers. I am not a reader. I read books to help me develop as a leader and a youth worker, but it is something I have to force myself to do. I wish I could call myself a reader, but I just don’t enjoy it. I enjoy learning, but reading a ton of books would not really help me that much. As mentioned in earlier comments, a goal of 52 a year would discourage me more than anything. I think that is great if it works for you, but never would for me. Not better, just different.

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kolby milton at 2:22 pm

Thanks brian for the comment! When have you enjoyed reading? I think a book club for youth pastors would be fun!

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Brian Seidel at 8:24 pm

I really never have enjoyed it, my entire life. Only did the bare minimum to get through school. In college I enjoyed it the most but still did the minimum plus 10%. I see Gods sense of humor that he wants me to write, since English was my worst subject, and I know this is why.
I wish I was a reader, but I’m not.

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kolby milton at 12:21 pm

Brian, thanks for your honesty. I was never a reader until seminary. I used to hate reading! Now, I am looking for new books weekly. Appreciate you and your ministry. Where is my free book to review for youth min media?

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Brian Seidel at 5:17 pm

send me your shipping address and it will be on it’s way!
pastorbrian@cloverdalechurch.org

Brian Seidel at 1:14 pm

I agree that leaders need to be learners, but that does not automatically mean they are readers. I am not a reader. I read books to help me develop as a leader and a youth worker, but it is something I have to force myself to do. I wish I could call myself a reader, but I just don’t enjoy it. I enjoy learning, but reading a ton of books would not really help me that much. As mentioned in earlier comments, a goal of 52 a year would discourage me more than anything. I think that is great if it works for you, but never would for me. Not better, just different.

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kolby milton at 2:22 pm

Thanks brian for the comment! When have you enjoyed reading? I think a book club for youth pastors would be fun!

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Brian Seidel at 8:24 pm

I really never have enjoyed it, my entire life. Only did the bare minimum to get through school. In college I enjoyed it the most but still did the minimum plus 10%. I see Gods sense of humor that he wants me to write, since English was my worst subject, and I know this is why.
I wish I was a reader, but I’m not.

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kolby milton at 12:21 pm

Brian, thanks for your honesty. I was never a reader until seminary. I used to hate reading! Now, I am looking for new books weekly. Appreciate you and your ministry. Where is my free book to review for youth min media?

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Brian Seidel at 5:17 pm

send me your shipping address and it will be on it’s way!
pastorbrian@cloverdalechurch.org

Timothy Serrano at 2:45 pm

Awesome reminder to always be learning! Thanks Kolby

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Timothy Serrano at 2:45 pm

Awesome reminder to always be learning! Thanks Kolby

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Jonathan Pearson at 2:57 pm

I used to try to read at least 50 books a year, but with four kids, two jobs, and a long commute (plus Facebook), I don’t do nearly that many anymore.

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Jonathan Pearson at 2:57 pm

I used to try to read at least 50 books a year, but with four kids, two jobs, and a long commute (plus Facebook), I don’t do nearly that many anymore.

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Joshua L. Fisher at 8:34 pm

I love to read as it is; but I do understand that for others it may not be as enjoyable. Therefore, I would agree that one can learn to lead from other avenues, however nothing beats a good book.

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Joshua L. Fisher at 9:34 pm

I love to read as it is; but I do understand that for others it may not be as enjoyable. Therefore, I would agree that one can learn to lead from other avenues, however nothing beats a good book.

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