Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Open Forum: Sabbatical Reading

As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I'll be taking a sabbatical near the end of April. It'll be for five weeks, and will last until the end of May. I have planned some activities for that time, which I'll lay out fully later. Those are not what this post is about.

Aside from those specific activities and trips, I have a few larger goals for this sabbatical.

On one hand, I want to spend time reflecting on Bigger Professional Things. I'd like to take stock of what passions I've discovered since beginning full-time ministry, as well as passions I've let fall by the wayside. I want to think about possibilities for further education or training. I want to think about who I want to be and what I want to be about as a pastor in general.

On the other hand, I very much want to think about me and my church. 5+ years is a long time to be together, and I want to avoid getting stuck in a rut. I want to continue developing healthy ministries, and I want us to keep challenging ourselves. And I want to keep approaching things with a creative eye, recognizing when something has played out and being ready to consider alternatives.

And that, Super Readers, is why I am writing this post.

I'm still developing a reading list for this time, and I'm not coming up with much. I'm looking for books that encourage a pastor's creative spirit, or that speak to issues related to long-term ministry. And I call on ministerial colleagues out there in CoffeeNation to help me out.

Have you come across a book that touches on these themes? I'm not looking for specifics such as "How to Be a Better Preacher" or "How to Give More Effective Pastoral Care" so much as "How to Sustain a Long Pastorate" or "How to Keep Nurturing Your Creativity." Stuff more like that. It may not even be a ministry-specific book.

At any rate, if there are books like that that you know of, please share. The comments are yours.