A Reading Challenge for 2016

A Reading Challenge for 2016

One of my staff recently sent me an email with “The Reading Challenge” from Tim Challies, a blogger and pastor connected to R.C. Sproul’s ministry in Orlando. I’ve adapted Challies’s challenge for this blog. SO……here’s the challenge for 2016:


•The Light Reader – Read 13 books which sets a pace of 1 book every 4 weeks.
•The Avid Reader – Adds another 13 books which increases the pace to 1 book every 2 weeks.
•The Serious Reader – Adds another 26 books, bringing the total to 52, or 1 book every week.
•The Insane Reader – Follows Dr. D.A. Carson’s 500 books a year plan – honestly and truly!

Now, obviously not all reading is created equal. There are books, and then there are BOOKS! I read a couple of shorter books this past year and a couple of big ones too. I read N.T. Wright’s, Jesus and the Victory of God – an academic text weighing in at 630 pages. It was a bit of a slog…but an enjoyable one at that. Clearly, whatever plan you choose, all the books cannot be non-fiction ones at 600 pages.

Here’s the challenge: set a goal and begin to pace yourself starting early in 2016. Remember to mix it up a bit. All of us get stuck in many kinds of ruts; reading ruts, thinking ruts, theological ruts, lifestyle ruts. It’s time to shake things up a bit for the new year!

If you want some ideas for books, check out my top ten list on our website. I’d encourage you to make sure to read both fiction and non-fiction books. Write down a list of potential books you’d like to read. Make sure to throw in a few biographies, some theological works, a few novels, and some books on the Christian life. Don’t forget books on sports, science, philosophy, economics and history (I read David McCullough’s newest book on the Wright brothers this past year – an absolute delight!). Make sure to read some folks you disagree with. Read some popular level books and some academic ones also. Push yourself, and stretch into some new areas! You will be amazed how refreshing it can be!

Here’s the promise: If you take up the challenge and complete it, I want to publish a blog next January 2017 with the names of those who took up the challenge (at whatever level you opted for). If you’d rather not have your name published, that’s fine also. But it’s always fun to celebrate. SO…are you ready? Let’s watch less TV, and dive into some good books in 2016! I dare you!

by Pastor Jay, Senior Pastor