In one of those share-on-Facebook list articles about how to encourage your pastor or priest, I came across an interesting suggestion: ask him what he’s been reading lately. This can be encouraging in a couple different ways.
- It shows your curiosity about your pastor’s interests – sometimes we have a hard time just telling other people about the books or articles that we’re reading because we don’t know how many people we’re going to bore to death, or distract people with accidental reading ideas when they should be focusing on other things, or whatever.
- It shows your concern for your pastor’s continued education and learning. It is vitally important that a teacher (in any subject) be a life-long student of the subject. A Bible teacher or preacher needs to be reading through the Bible constantly, as well as reading other things to broaden his knowledge and perspective.
- It encourages your pastor actually to read. Some of us are great readers and some of us are very slack. Asking us about our reading can help spur us on when we’re faltering or failing in that part of the pastoral life.
I suppose this begs the example question: what am I reading these days?
- This year set out to read Peake’s Commentary on the Bible (edition from 1963) in full, but had to give up on that goal. Instead I’m focusing on reading its essays on different topics, and sections of the Bible
- When I finish that I’m going to read John Jewel’s Apology for the Church of England. My reading list from there is aiming to alternate between old and new (the cut-off between the two being roughly 1900).
- A few articles are waiting in tabs on my browser:
- from 1847 on the Eucharist: http://anglicanhistory.org/england/brevint/sacrament02.html
- one of several on Anglican identity: http://northamanglican.com/the-old-religion/
- something on Anglican polity that recently made the rounds online: http://churchsociety.org/blog/entry/the_marks_of_an_anglican_church/
- a push-back against those who revile the Tractarian movement: http://northamanglican.com/a-better-intentionalism-toward-a-more-transparent-tractarian-historiography/
- There are a few more articles at the North American Anglican that I’ve not caught up with also, surrounding the “Tracts for the Times 2.0” and responses.
- a recipe that looks like something I could try this weekend: https://www.kveller.com/recipe-apple-honey-brie-cheesy-pull-apart-bread
- And for fun I’m currently reading a Doctor Who novel called EarthWorld. It’s not the best, but the novel range it’s a part of has been really enjoyable.
Ask the clergymen in your church what they’re reading, and see what you find!