Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. -JFK
My father used to say that you can determine the quality of a leader by the extent of their personal library.
There's probably a lot in that. Yes, we can learn from experience, from networking with others, from training sessions and conferences, and even from social media. But digging into a book will unearth so much more information and ideas than you can gather elsewhere.
In fact, most would see conferences as the teaser, the introduction to ta rewarding study of the topic to be found later as you read recommended texts and books.
Books can encourage you in your kidmin work. You might begin a book while tired and disheartened only to find yourself refreshed, inspired and filled with renewed vigor by the conclusion.
What's on your current reading list?
So... the next questions is, 'What books are you reading, or planning to read, that will teach, encourage, inspire or broaden your perspective of your children's ministry potential?' And....'What books are you encouraging your team of leaders and volunteers to read?'
Simple ways to encourage reading
Yes, I know that books can be expensive, especially if your reading list is extensive. But Kindle versions have greatly reduced those costs.
Have you considered opening up your personal library of ministry resources to your team? It's a great way to encourage them. Offer regular reading suggestions that you know would help them to learn and grow. You could email a weekly/monthly book review to your volunteers and mention that these resources can be borrowed from your library.
Track your library resources
While you're at it, why not check with other kidmin leaders from other churches and see if you can organise to share books and resources? You're probably concerned that you'll never see the book again.Certainly, when you're busy, it's easy to forget who has borrowed a particular resource. Ask that they add their name to a list or form that notes the book they have borrowed. Another suggestion is to use an app to track this information. You'll find 'Book Crawler' or 'My Library' will allow you to easily enter information about your books, movies and CDs via the internet. You can enter a 'loan status' when a resource is borrowed to keep track of the book.
A free printable label
Last... don't forget to label your resources so that it's easy to note those resources that are borrowed- a visual reminder to return the book or dvd.
I've included a simple design that you can print onto sheets of Avery labels. Print the labels... add your name and contact info....& adhere to the back or inside cover of your resource.
Check out the sample list below of reading material that I'm planning for this year. There will be others, I'm sure, but this is a good start if you haven't begun your own reading list yet. It's presented in slideshow format so you'll need to click through to the next suggestion using the arrow. Please add any other books that you've enjoyed to this list, too.
He who dares to teach must never cease to learn.