What advice do you have for someone who wants to read more?

1 Min Read

First of all, reading is a matter of self-discipline. We’re not all natural readers, and we don’t all love reading, but if we are called to the ministry, we are going to have to read. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that we do read.

The basic principle is to make sure that you have space in your day, then space in your week, and then space in your month set aside for reading. I remember the late John Stott saying that he tried to read one hour a day, a morning a week, a day a month, and a week a year. If you keep that up, or some such program, even though it seems slow, you will eventually get through a lot of books over a longer period of time.

This is not a matter of setting a pattern or a standard for everyone. Some of us read very quickly, and some of us read more slowly. Some books should be read quickly. Others should be read slowly. I think the thing that helps is breaking the back of our sloth and indifference and saying, “Even if I have to start small, I will do it.” And if you keep going, it’s amazing how much you can get through.

I would also recommend paying attention to the style. If you read something and think, “That is really good,” then don’t just go on to the next thing. Look back and ask yourself: “Why is this really good? How is this person doing this?” Then, see if you can build some of these principles into your own use of language. I think we often forget that we use language in ministry, and the better we can use it, the better it will be. In a sense, the better our language is, the better we will be able to glorify God with words—not just cheap, easy words and slang but words that exalt God and lift the spirits of those who listen to us.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Sinclair Ferguson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.