LEADERS READ good books; good books readers lead. True Christian leaders read good books so they can lead. And without controversy, the Holy BIBLE is the best of all good books Christian leaders must read daily to lead. Diligent reading of the Bible precedes vigorous preaching and teaching. A pastor who spends at least an hour a day reading the Bible to preach or teach for an hour at a meeting is wise. In fact, he loves God and His church.
Reading is necessary for knowing and knowing is necessary for leading. Leading without first reading to know leads to always leaning on others for knowledge. And reading to acquire knowledge and understanding precedes speaking to give knowledge. Ordinarily, people speak of what they know to get their hearers informed, educated, warned or entertained. Ministers of the gospel are no exception.
Failing to read the Bible daily is first, failing to lead God’s church satisfactorily. Second, it is failing to walk in the light of God. And failing to walk in the light of God is tantamount to walking in darkness. Those who walk in darkness head to destruction. God’s Word is light and gives us light as the Psalmist wrote, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119: 105).
A pastor who is lazy at reading the Bible is very dangerous and disastrous; he and his followers may perish on the Last Day. In fact, an apostle, teacher, bishop, evangelist or prophet who doses off a few minutes after picking up his Bible to read is unfit to shepherd the church of God. Someone may ask: how can a pastor who is illiterate read the Bible? Well, there is a way out; he can get some literate brothers to assist him. There are examples in the Bible.
The Lord Jesus Christ never attended any formal Jewish rabbinical college to receive knowledge of the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. He learnt them the hard way by associating with the teachers of the Law to read to His hearing. He did not just hear them read the Law to Him, but also asked them pertinent questions to deepen His knowledge and to make valid contributions to scriptural discourses (Luke 2: 46- 47).
Sometime later, our glorious Saviour could read the Scriptures Himself. Yes, Christ could read the Scriptures after applying Himself assiduously to read and study them. Consequently, on one Sabbath day, He read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah to the surprise of Jews who had gone to the synagogue that day.
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and He stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind…” (Luke 4: 16- 19).
Another example we may consider is the apostle Peter; he also lacked formal education (Acts 4: 13). Yet Peter could write two books of the New Testament of the Holy Bible. He wrote 1 Peter and 2 Peter, making accurate references to Old Testament Scriptures. This means, he read the Old Testament. How could an uneducated man read? Well, he himself gives us an idea about his secret and success.
Peter had a faithful believer, who assisted him in writing his books. Peter might have dictated for his secretary to write for him. The apostle wrote, “By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you…” (1 Peter 5: 12). Glory to God! Peter was full of the Holy Spirit, godly wisdom and humility so he could ask a brother to help him contribute two books to the 66 books of the Bible.
Now, if Peter could ask Silvanus to help him write, there is no doubt that he could also ask him to help him read. We can also talk about Baruch who wrote for the prophet Jeremiah. I do not know if Jeremiah was uneducated, but the truth I know is that someone wrote for him, “Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD that he had spoken to him” (Jeremiah 36: 4).
Daniel was a great reader of the books of Jeremiah (Daniel 9: 2). Paul was a great reader; he had a great desire for books. Paul was a man of good books not for decoration but reading. Thus, he did not to want lose any of his books. He wrote to Timothy, asking him to bring his books, “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4: 13).
Clearly, Paul understood that the call to Christian ministry as a minister is a call to read many good books for knowledge, understanding, wisdom, transformation and salvation. In fact, God is a God of books and reading. He told most of His servants to write and read books.
However, we should not just read good books especially the Bible, but also pray for grace to understand what we read, meditate and retain what we read, recall what we read and transform by what we read. Reading develops the mind, develops thinking skills, gives knowledge, sharpens vocabulary etcetera. Indeed, reading is profitable. Let’s read the Bible!
By James Quansah
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