There are seasons in ministry when I feel an overwhelming urge to read. It's not every day that I feel like this, mainly when a project ends or a trip is complete. I find that these times are often the most fruitful and creative moments in my ministry experience.
When the reading bug bites I find myself looking in a few places. I look at my already read shelf. I find my most precious jewels of inspiration there: Walter Brueggeman's The Prophetic Imagination, Henri Nouwen's In The Name of Jesus, Mike Yaconelli's Dangerous Wonder, and my oldest copy of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
Another place I look is to the list of books that have been referred to me by friends in ministry, a list so long and beautiful it's hard to know where to start, maybe with Robert Lewis' The Church of Irresistible Influence or Kevin Carroll's Rules of the Red Rubber Ball?
Then there are the books that speak to me from the shelves. They may have nothing to do with ministry but they have jumped out at us either at a library or a store and you were drawn in and changed. Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From the Sea, and Sara Shandler's Ophelia Speaks were like this for me.
This morning I find myself in that space, desiring very much to learn from someone else.
What are you reading? Would you share the book that has changed you and challenged you the most so far in 2009? Dave Gibbon's The Monkey and The Fish that has lingered with me long after I read the last page so I would say it's my book for the year...so far. How about you?