John Piper writes convincingly on the importance for pastors to read Christian biography:
As leaders in the church, we are supposed to have vision for the future. We are supposed to declare prophetically where our church should be going. We are supposed to inspire people with great possibilities… Christian biography, well chosen, combines all sorts of things pastors need but have so little time to pursue. Good biography is history and guards us against chronological snobbery. It is also theology – the most powerful kind – because it bursts forth from the lives of people. It is also adventure and suspense, for which we have a natural hunger. It is psychology and personal experience, which deepen our understanding of human nature (especially ourselves). Good biographies of great Christians make for remarkably efficient reading (90).
This impacted me because there are so many books our there with blurbs from so many people that I respect that my reading list is getting endlessly long and unreasonable. I need to get out of my time and go back to see what other brothers saw. I realize that newer isn’t necessarily better. I’ve been greatly blessed by my reading and sharing of what I’ve learned from Jonathan Edwards. And what God has taught me through the lives of those I’ve read can bless others. After reading Piper on this topic, I resolved to pick an incident or person and write a lesson for my church to teach every year on the week of Reformation Day (October 31). This year I’ll start with an overview of the Reformation itself drawing from the books of Michael Reeves, Kirsten Birkett, and a few others.