A note from Kelly King: I’m currently on vacation, but I’m never far from reading a few books. In an age where attention spans are short, books help me think more deeply and be challenged in new ways. Carolyn Tatem gives us a great acronym today for why leaders should always be readers. You can hear Carolyn at our upcoming You Lead in Chicago on November 1. For more information, click here.
I recently heard someone say, “You are the same today that you are going to be five years from now except for two things: the people with whom you associate and the books read.” I thought about this statement, and it inspired me to continue reading and to pick up my pace so that I can read as many books as possible. As leaders we should always be reading something and be open to meeting new people.
The first book that we should read daily is the Bible. The Bible is our road map for life. It can be defined as our “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” There is so much to gain from reading God’s Word, and good leaders can’t afford not to read it. Spending time in the Word each day helps to give a leader wisdom, direction, and insight into the ways of God. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation.” God wants us to desire his Word like a baby desires milk. This verse often makes me think of when my children were nursing babies; they ate every two hours. Imagine how much more knowledgeable we would be if we were literally taking in the Word of God every two hours. Reading and applying the Word of God helps leaders to grow and develop into great leaders. God speaks through His Word, and we can take time to listen by reading His Word.
Secondly, we should surround ourselves with good people and other good books that can help to enrich our leadership journeys. There are some lessons that God will teach us from the people we are surrounded by. This is why we need to intentionally place ourselves around people who can pour in good things. In addition to good people, there are good books on leadership and various topics that will help us to grow spiritually, mentally, and personally. LifeWay offers great resources to enhance your leadership journey. Check out LifeWay’s resources at Lifeway.com. It’s great to be able to read about areas that you have a passion. I love to read books to get insight and different perspectives on various topics. Reading has definitely helped to enhance my leadership journey.
Are you reading a good book right now? Summer is a great time to read as many are taking breaks, vacationing, and relaxing. Keep a good book with you and be quick to read when you have wait time or time to be still. If you are already a reader, keep it up. If not, start making reading a priority. Pick a good book and ask someone to join you. Here are a few reading tips:
R – Read from the Word of God every day! Summarize the things that stand out to you in a journal and share it with others.
E – Educate yourself on various topics by reading a variety of books. Encourage the people that you lead to read. Choose books that you can read and discuss as a group. Have book fellowships and discuss a book that can be beneficial to your team.
A – Apply the good things that you learn to your life. Ask other people to join you as you read so that you can discuss with another person.
D – Don’t stop reading. Read the Word of God daily and select other books to read. Make it a lifetime commitment. Remember that great leaders are great readers!
Carolyn Tatem is a native of Washington, D.C. Carolyn gave her life to the Lord at the age of twelve and has been committed to serving the Lord ever since. She serves in various ministries at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden. She is the director of The Queen Esther Ministry, a discipleship program for women. She has taught a variety of Women’s Focus Study classes and currently teaches middle school. She has written a book and workbook for married couples and a book for singles: Marriage from A to Z (Principles for a Successful Marriage) and Marriage from A to Z for Singles. In addition, she writes a weekly post on the Marriage from A to Z blog. Carolyn has been happily married to her husband William Tatem for 20 years. Together they have three children.