I’m thinking about what I want to read in 2020. Below you’ll find some of my reading aspirations for next year.
1. To read the entire Bible.
Before seminary, I often used a Bible reading plan for my personal devotions. This was helpful. Once starting seminary, however, I felt like the Bible reading plan was hurting more than helping (because I was so overwhelmed with everything else I had to read) and so I decided to ditch it. I came up with my own reading plan that better fit my schedule.
But now that my seminary days are over, I want to use a Bible reading plan again. For 2020, I plan on using the 5 Day Bible Reading Program. This will allow me to read the entire Bible by reading Scripture five days a week. This is my first time trying this one out and I’m excited to use it. You can learn more about the plan here.
For years, if not over a decade, I have used my ESV Bible (imitation leather) for my personal devotions. I loved it. I started using it back in undergraduate school when my faith and love for Christ really took off. Time after time, God met me, encouraged me, and rebuked me through this Bible. It’s a true treasure, one of the most valuable things I own.
But I think it’s time to switch it up because it’s so worn down. So I decided to go with the black ESV Thinline Bible (leather bound). I’m eager to dive in!
2. To read an entire Systematic Theology.
I love, love reading systematic theology. Few things grow my nearness to God and love for him and his Word like studying theology.
For 2020’s systematic, I’m going with Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine primarily because it’s so clear and accessible. While I have read bits and pieces of it here and there (and have loved what I read), I have yet to read the book in its entirety. I hope to change that in 2020.
3. To read more introductory homiletics books.
Looks like I’ll be preaching twice a month on Sundays starting in 2020. My preaching duties are increasing and for that I’m thankful. I want to give my church my very best and wish to continue to improve in this ever-important aspect of Christian ministry.
Since I haven’t preached my first 100 sermons yet, I still consider myself in my formative preaching years, so I will emphasize more introductory and how-to preaching books. I plan to read Biblical Preaching (by Haddon Robinson), How Sermons Work (by David Murray), The Christ-Centered Expositor (by Tony Merida), and Preach Well (by Darryl Dash). I hope I will always be eager to grow as a preacher.
4. To read John’s Gospel deeply.
We’ll be preaching through the Gospel of John in 2020. I’m geeked. This is one of my favorite books of the Bible and I look forward to diving deeply into the text. Of course, I’ve got to have my biblical commentaries on deck. In addition to the New Bible Commentary, I plan on using Carson, Keener, and Köstenberger for my big three. I’ve got some other resources that I’m excited to use as well. One of the best parts of being a pastor is the time I get to study God’s Word at such a deep level.
5. To read more secular books via Audible.
I’ve been wanting Audible for a while now but didn’t want to pay for it. A wonderful couple surprised me with over a year’s worth of Audible Gift Cards for Christmas. I plan on using these for personal development books I want to read.
Of course, I want to read more than just what’s listed above, but this is the big-picture view. I want to attack the New Year actively not passively in all areas of life. And I hope to read more in the coming year.