Why Preachers Need to Read

I don’t know any preachers who don’t read.  Even though most preachers I’ve encountered tend to have more books than they can shelve in one office, stacks of books doesn’t mean that any of them have been opened, at least in a long time.  We preachers come out of seminary in a mode of reading and are able to maintain it until the reality of the pastoral life hits.  Yes, Sunday is always coming and we have to give our congregations our homiletical best, but the reality of pastoral ministry come soon enough and the discipline of theological–or any–reading falls by the wayside of committee meetings, civic duties, hospital visits, weddings, funerals, and church administration.  These activities are all vital to our calling as pastors and preachers.  But, reading fine writers is also a vital necessity, as noted in the article below from Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. at Books and Culture.  Will you take a break from your pastoral hurry to give it a read?

Maybe an even more basic reason for the preacher to read fine writers (or listen to fine speakers) is that they will tune the preacher’s ear for language, which is his first tool. From the masters of language the preacher can learn conciseness, rhythm, euphony, and rhetorical devices such as consonance.

via Tuning the Preacher’s Ear | Books and Culture.

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