The One Big Way to Change the Impact of Your Reading

Dr. Howard Hendricks was a favorite teacher-conference leader of mine. While I did not attend DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary) where he was a professor,  “The Prof” made a profound impact on my teaching ministry through a series of videos he recorded for Walk Through The Bible Ministries. The video conference material was drawn from his book, Teaching to Change Lives. I like what he had to say about the time you and I spend reading. Here, in Dr. Hendricks own words, are his thoughts about how to get the most out of the time you have to read. While he had three suggestions, I’m only going to focus on the first one:

Let me give you three suggestions for growing in the intellectual dimension of your life.

  1. Maintain a consistent study and reading program. Understand that leaders are readers, and readers are leaders.

But I find a lot of people who say, “You know, Dr. Hendricks, I’m reading lots of things, but frankly I’m not finding that it changes my life or contributes that much.” Here’s a way out: If you have an hour set a part to read, try reading the first half hour and use the second half hour to reflect on what you read. Watch the difference it makes. You’re reading too much if you reflect on it too little.

So there you have it – a pretty simple plan for changing your reading habits. Read half as much, but reflect perhaps 100% more than you do now! I’ve done this at Dr. Hendricks’ suggestion, and I can tell you that it does make a difference. Happy reading!


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