I have yet to meet a pastor who is growing in his knowledge of God and his effectiveness in pastoral ministry, who doesn’t read consistently. Where there is an absence of reading, there is normally the presence of decline and deficiency in one’s soul and ministry. John Wesley had this concern for a particular pastor he had visited. Wesley observed the distinct absence of growth and fruit as he spent time with this pastor and listened to him preach. So here was the caring, courageous and wise counsel Wesley gave this man: [note to self--from this point on I edited out Mahaney's asides on Wesley's comments] “What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear, to this day, is, want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps, by neglecting it, have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this. Whether you like it or not, read and pray daily. It is for you life; there is no other way; else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty, superficial preacher."

source: C. J. Mahaney tags: Reading, Preaching