Not only is it critical to take sufficient sermon preparation time each week, the pastor needs to read and study on a daily basis. At any one time I am reading four different books-- one in theology, one in biblical studies, one in pastoral ministry, and a final book in a miscellaneous area (American history, politics, etc.). I also make sure that I read authors with whom I know I am going to have major disagreements. It is all too easy for us to read those writers who confirm our beliefs rather than challenge them. If the pastor is not engaging with the profound theology of the ages and the wisdom of others, he or she will not preach engaging sermons. Church folk with any depth of faith can spot a shallow preacher from a mile away.
What are your reading habits?