Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Preacher's Book Club - Raising the Level of Conversation

A couple of months ago, one of my brethren in the congregation where I currently serve noted that I had a lot of insight that comes from the graduate classes I periodically take and the books that I read. While not everyone can take graduate classes in ministry or theology, anyone can make the time to read a good book. He suggested that I start a reading group or book club so more in the congregation can digest the wisdom, insights, and experience of authors who distill it into a book to share with others who do not have the privilege of physically being with them.

What a marvelous idea! It occurs to me that leaders, ministers, preachers, and people who do a lot of reading could turn their reading into a more effective ministry by reading a book alongside others and processing it together. That is one of the components involved in several of the graduate classes that I have taken.

Having never been a part of a reading group or book club of this nature, I did a little investigating on how to put together a reading group and what would be involved. I found that many reading groups focus on fictional literary works rather than non-fiction or theology, but I finally found some help in how to organize. It is not all that complicated.

Then it dawned on me that the Internet could cast the net wider. Incorporating things such as email or a blog would enable those who lived in other parts of the country to participate in a discussion online.
Since I already had a web site, it would be easy to add a "Preacher's Book Club" section and start a blog. I obtained a new sub domain at: http://books.epreacher.org for the Preacher's Book club and am now looking forward to raising the level of conversation not only among members of the congregation where I currently serve, but also of other people around the country.