Recently, while eating breakfast with a friend who has been in the ministry for many years, he shocked me by saying :"I really don't like to read that much." I replied:"Then you've got to force yourself to read!"
It would be impossible for me to over-emphasize the impact that reading good books has had on me personally and on my ministry. Study and preparation are part and parcel of the gospel ministry. My caution to young men who are about to enter the ministry is: "If God didn"t give you a desire to study, He probably hasn't called you to preach."
There are many authors and books that have radically influenced my life and ministry. The following is a partial list of the books and authors that have been the greatest blessing in my own ministry.
A.W. Tozer-"THE PURSUIT OF GOD". I can trace a spiritual transformation in my life back to this book. It lead me to read every thing I could get by him.
Leonard Ravenhill-"WHY REVIVAL TARRIES"
E.M.Bounds-All his books on prayer.
THE LIFE AND DIARY OF DAVID BRAINERD by Jonathan Edwards.
J.I.Packer-Particularly "KNOWING GOD" and "EVANGELISM AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD."
Mark Dever-"9 MARKS OF A HEALTHY CHURCH."
More recently I am being blessed by the writings of C.J.Mahaney.
I haven't read a lot of Calvin other than his commentaries, but I am definitely influenced by many who have been influenced by him.
As I said, this is not an exhaustive list of all the beneficial books I've read, but these are the books and authors that I consider to have been the most helpful. I'm sure that most of you are avid readers also. What are some of the books you consider to be most influential in your life and ministry?