Part of the package will include a revamp of this site—name change and a move to WordPress. It will continue to be my personal blog. CrossPlainSpeaking will transition to a new emphasis on church and community life here in Cross Plains. Like I said, we are pretty pumped—not just about the new design but the potential for engagement inside and outside the church.
During the meeting Josh, our site design expert (what a great guy), suggested that I include on my personal blog a list of books I am currently reading. My immediate response was, “Sure, that would be cool.”
I do love books. For years the church has afforded me a library stipend allowing me to buy books regularly. Mt. Carmel knows instinctively that you can’t lead if you don’t read! Joe, our UPS driver, knows me well—there are few weeks that pass without a delivery from Amazon.
Which leaves me with the question (maybe you can help me)—is it better to read widely or read deeply?
Fellow leaders/pastors and church members frequently ask “what are you reading?” or “have you read…?” So I am constantly striving to stay current. As a result, Cindy periodically reminds me to clean up—pointing to the “leaning tower” of books around my chair at home. My desk at church isn’t much better!
Add blog posts to the books, newspapers and magazines and it can be staggering. Think about it—we have more information available through the click of a mouse than anyone before us had in their entire lives. So no matter how much I read (or buy) I still feel guilty about not reading enough.
So here’s the best single piece of reading advice I’ve seen. It comes from Dallas Willard. When it comes to reading—aim at depth, not breadth. If you aim at depth, you will get breadth thrown in. If you aim at breadth, you’ll get neither depth nor breadth.
I know that if I constantly am skimming the surface of what I read, not much sticks. Someone asks you if you liked a particular author or book, and you say, “yes,” but you can’t remember why.
So I recommend that you think carefully about what you’re most devoted to. And read that repeatedly, on a regular basis, until you gain a sense of how that particular author thinks and what the key ideas are. It’s best to read deeply.
Come to think of it—that’s not a bad approach when it comes to life in general — following Jesus in particular!
Question—What are you reading? Who’s your favorite author? Is it better to read widely or deeply?