17 Simple Actions to Grow as a Pastor Scholar

Pastors stall in their growth sometimes. It is to be expected because we are imperfect. But how do we break out of the plateau?

New challenges have always seemed to work for me. That’s how P90X works for physical muscles. We should expect the same for pastoral muscles. But new challenges don’t have to be the size of Mt. Everest. Here’s a list of simple actions that will break you out of your rut.

1. Join ETS.

2. Start a book review page on your church’s website and post a new review once a month.

3. Take a free online theology or Bible class.

4. Pick one dead theologian and read him for 10 minutes a day for a year (or until you die).

5. Start a blog.

6. Improve your writing.

7. Improve your reading.

8. Convert a previous sermon series into an ebook. Let people download it for free off your church’s website. Or submit it to Cruciform Press.

9. Start a theology group like this one.

10. Pull a dictionary off your shelf and leave it on your desk. Read one article each morning to start your day. Put it back on your shelf once you’ve read the whole thing.

11. Work on your Hebrew.

12. Work on your Greek.

13. Form a small group with other pastors to critique each other’s sermon outlines before you preach. If you can listen to each other, critique the delivery afterward.

14. Start writing the book you’ve been thinking about.

15. Get ordained.

16. Use Twitter or Facebook updates to communicate big theological truths to your people in one sentence.

17. Learn from the stories of a couple of guys who have become successful pastor-scholars.

Not all of these are relevant to everyone. No one should try to do them all at the same time! But I bet there were a couple that made your heart rate climb.

Go break out of your plateau.

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