Once you obtain your degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, I have no idea if you will pursue any further education. My guess is that at this time even you don't know the answer to that question. For if I were you I would be thinking, "Just make it to January 1, become the new pastor, do really well, see the church prosper, keep the ministry in balance with my wife and family, get the bills paid, find a house closer to the church, get to know people, and maybe…maybe somewhere in there I can think about my personal educational goals." Maybe.
Well, whether you go on for more schooling or not, I can guarantee you that you will be doing more reading. They say that the average high school graduate reads just ONE BOOK between the time of their graduation and their death. If that is true, it is not only astounding but downright frightening. For it raises all kinds of questions about the intellectual future of our country. But that "one book" line is not true in regards to pastors. Indeed, if it is only you and me at the church, in the future, I can guarantee that you will be reading more books.
Books have been called both "a window to the world" as well as "the windows through which the soul looks out" (Henry Ward Beecher). The reading of books broadens us. They are a means of higher education without needing to pay tuition. If "bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33), and it does, good books can help raise one's morals, one's character. By reading of Jean Valjean (Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo) you will be reminded of the power of repentance and regeneration; by reading John G. Paton's Autobiography, you will gain a passion for the power of the gospel; by reading The Cost of Discipleship (Bonhoeffer) you will be reminded that the modern church is being eaten away by an embracing of cheap grace.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, "Don't waste your time reading good books." That is so like C.S. Lewis. On the surface it sounds so counter to what one would expect to hear from that bibliophile. But Lewis went on to explain his statement by suggesting that there are in the world "good" books and there are "great" books. And as long as there remain some great books that are unread, one will be wasting one's time reading the good books. Charles Colton once wrote, "Choose your books like you would your friends: few, but choice."
That seems like good advice. But do plan on reading. By doing so you will serve as a good model to those under your care.
By His Grace,