The information on this page is from the 2009 survey. The 2013 survey is still in session, so take it now! Once we’ve collected enough stats, we’ll release the most current survey results.
Every pastor knows that quality resources help their scholarship the most. A library filled to the brim with all the best resources is what every pastor dreams of. What resources make studying the Bible easy, more thorough, and more effective? How does a pastor on a budget get recommendations about the best new resources without wasting time and spending too much on the wrong books? The Pastor's Library can help.
Recommending the best...
3 out of 4 pastor's surveyed said the best way to find new resources for their pastor's library is from other pastors. So, The Pastor's Library has compiled recommended resources, from the most relevant source: other pastors!
What do pastors recommend for their libraries? What are the most effective resources for study and scholarship, as well as for sermon preparation? Based on our survey results, the most important aspects of quality pastoral resources are their time-saving nature, their comprehensiveness, and their ability to be used for many subjects and topics, or reusability
One of the most important aspects about quality resources for a pastoral library is their time saving abilities. Pastors are continually pressed with the many needs of their churches. An example of a tool for pastors that saves time and does not sacrifice quality is Bible software. Our surveyed pastors said that the best aspect of Bible software over using their traditional print books was Time Savings!
As you build your pastoral library, you cleary have to include resources that will help you conduct your studies with precision and at the same time help you finish work faster and efficiently. It is clear that Bible software is the right choice for pastors who want to get the most out of their studies while saving precious time that can be spent with church members and family. For more of the time-saving benefits of Bible software, visit the Software section of The Pastor's Library.
"It's not that Bible software is a time saver: it is an enhancer. I get much more done in the same time."
A good way to think about thoroughness when you are deciding to reevaluate your pastoral resources is to ask the question: How many resources do I plan to use to study one subject? In a typical week, our surveyed pastors use somewhere between 5-10 books for sermon preparation and personal study. While 5-10 books may not seem like a lot to have, think about using 2 or 3 large concordances, 2 paperback books, along with several magazines for various articles, all during the course of your studies. Starting to feel crowded?
What if you could search your entire pastoral library from a single window on your computer? Or what about the problem of reopening every reference work you were using before lunch when you sit down to study again? What if you could save this "workspace" and reuse those same books for different studies? How's that for thorough? What if there was a way to easily double the amount of resources in your library, while taking advantage of these and many other useful tools? Bible software can do this, and much more.
"For reference books, electronic libraries are the best. It's wonderful being able to search your whole library in an instant! I like a combination of scholarly resources and practical help."
The best tools are used again and again, continuing to get the job done year after year. The Pastor's Library sees reusability as one of the most challenging and yet most important aspects of developing a complete library resource. A pastor needs tools (i.e. books, software) that are relevant to today's congregations, while maintaining their time-tested authority.
It is important to develop a library that contains resources which you will reuse throughout your ministry, resources that have impacted you and your congregation through the years. A simple example is your favorite Bible. Although the cover is worn thin and the pages are becoming tattered, you maintain this as your primary resource for personal study. Why? Because you trust it and you know it will always be reliable. The Pastor's Library recommends purchasing pastoral resources that will last through the years and maintain their reusability.
"I intentionally cut back on [using] my book library and made significant investments into software. I recently bought a laptop that allows me to have a great library with me wherever I go. It is faster and takes up much less space...This is a better investment."
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