Learning to read was a real struggle for me as a kid. I’m so thankful for Mrs. Banks, my 6th grade teacher, Miss MacVey, my 7th and 8th grade teacher, and Mrs. Sidlowski, my special education teacher. They took the time to address my reading issues and help me learn not only to read, but to enjoy it. Who would have ever thought that I would spend my life reading books and speaking to people? Certainly not me. These precious teachers modeled Christ for me, and taught me to love His Word. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way concerning reading Christian books.
Read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation as often as you possibly can.
Read Christian classics. Here’s a great place to start: https://www.ccel.org/. If you don’t know which ones to choose, ask your pastor. Be careful, he might have a happy heartache that you want to read these kinds of works.
Read deeply on 1 or 2 profound Christian authors. Here are free resources for my two favorites:
John Wesley - http://godrules.net/library/wesley/wesley.htm
Dallas Willard - http://www.dwillard.org/resources/av
Read good Christian biographies, especially missionary biographies. Here is a free ebook biography on David Brainerd: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/david-brainerd-biography-free-ebook
Read Christian books that mentored those who mentor you. I make a habit of asking pastors and leaders which books have helped them the most. Then I go and get those books. My pastor and friend Bill Bowyer turned me on to The Integrity Crisis by Warren Wiersbe https://www.amazon.com/integrity-crisis-Warren-W-Wiersbe/dp/0840790910
Read the big, scary, “no way I can do it” Christian books. Of course you can, you’ve just been conditioned not to by pastors who set the bar to low for you. Just take it slow and read a little each week and you will find you can understand them. Here’s a free online place to start with John Owen: http://johnowen.org/works/
Read Christian books that are a little outside your comfort zone. Notice, I did not say read books that are outside the biblically orthodox zone. This can be helpful but a little tricky at times. This is why God gives us leadership in our local churches. So, if you don’t know if an author is orthodox, or if you don’t even know what orthodox means, ask your pastor or S.S. teacher.
Read a variety of Christian authors: men, women, and authors of a different ethnicity, denomination, and country of origin than your own.
Read a few Christian works that you can come back to year after year. Personally, I read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster every year or every other year. Some books will continue to challenge you as you grow in the faith. Cherish these books they are few and far between.