Dr. Austin Carty, the senior pastor of Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson, recently wrote the book The Pastor’s Bookshelf: Why Reading Matters for Ministry.
The two main ideas of the book are (1) that reading is far more formational than it is informational, and (2) because it is formational, pastors do well to think of reading as a vocational responsibility rather than a luxury.
Given its formational capacities, reading strengthens pastors in all spheres of ministry—and the book shows how this applies specifically to (1) preaching, (2) pastoral caregiving, (3) vision casting, (4) leadership.
The book was released on April 5 by Williams B. Eerdmans publishing company and received a starred review in Foreword magazine, which wrote, “The Pastor’s Bookshelf is an invaluable resource for members of the clergy, though its bookish enthusiasm is farther reaching than that.”
The foreword is written by Thomas G. Long, and it has received endorsements from James KA Smith, Will Willimon, Cornelius Plantinga, Andy Root, Karen Swallow Prior, Maryanne Wolf, and Marilyn McEntyre. It is also the first selection in Scot McKnight’s new substack bookclub.
Carty says, “I am an avid reader—one who, early in my ministry, felt guilty for taking time during the day to read—and this book chronicles my own journey toward giving myself permission to read as a pastor, and it hopes to give others pastors permission to do—and justification for doing—the same for themselves.”