Welcome to the third season of the Productive Pastor. I am really excited about this season and I want to share a few things with you before we jump into the episode.
New Content: I am working up a great way to feature different folks in the productive pastor community. One of the things I am fascinated with is other peoples work flows and space. Look for the “How I Pastor” series coming out soon.
New Conversations: The Productive Pastor has always had an undercurrent conversation about call and a theology of time management. We will let this conversation come up for air a little more this season. Until then-here are two great episodes for background information.
New Resources: I am committing myself to putting together 3-4 new resources this season for you and give them away. Most of these are in development right now.
How to Read for Maximum Effectiveness
Most of us in ministry are readers. If not, you need to be. Readers are leaders and leaders are Readers. It is a cliche…but totally the truth. The best pastors and ministry leaders are the ones constantly learning.
Reading can easily be a drag. We don’t know what to read or how to go about retaining the information. There are services out there giving you book summaries…but let’s be honest. Most of them are barely passable.
Maximizing your reading is all about developing a system for reading.
What really opened my eyes up over the last 6 months was a series of articles by Ryan Holiday.
Let me be honest with you. I first read these articles in the summer and spent to much time digging around the rest of Ryan’s archives. But the secret I found really isn’t a secret. Tons of other people manage to read an inordinate amount of material and keep ahead of it…all while managing other jobs.
The secret to reading for maximum effectiveness is to intentionally (and strategically) plan your retention.
1. Map out your reading.
I did this for 2015. Other books will fall in with this, but I have a reading plan. Think of it like a course list for college or seminary. I have a path.
2. Find a time.
For me it is in the mornings after my walk and in the mid-afternoon. This is when my mind is at a “reading mode” the best.
3. Have a system.
Just working through a book and randomly highlighting, flagging and marking won’t get you anywhere. Figure out a way to truly mark up the book and then save it. I use my own system of flags, notecards and evernote.
4. Process your reading.
Once a month I process all my reading. I go through the analog notes and input them into evernote. If it is a Kindle book-you can route them into Evernote (HT: Michael Hyatt). I follow my markup system and if anything needs it’s own special note in Evernote, I make it. Each book also goes into it’s own note.
This sounds laborious, but imagine what it can be like in 10-20 years when you have an extensive research library you can search, right at your fingertips and it is your own thoughts.
The Back Matter
The Bookshelf: Over the last two weeks I have been reading 2 great books I want to recommend.
1. Simplify: Ten practices to Unclutter your Soul by Bill Hybels
2. Strange Leadership: 40 Ways to Lead an Innovative Organization by Greg Atkinson
Michael Lukaszewski (episode 19) has a great new company called Church Fuel. Their main product is a year program focused on systems. It looks great.
Our next episode will be a conversation with several people about call, time management and how their own personal theological development of productivity has affected their life.
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