The benefits of reading are acknowledged across cultures, professions and age groups. Reading is important because words - written and spoken - are the building blocks of life. We are the result of words we have read, heard and believed about ourselves. Thus, the words we read and hear now determines what we become in the future. Let’s Read! aims to give an insight into the reading habits of our pastors and church staff.
Today, we sit down with Pastor Kevin Koh.
When did you realise that reading is something that is important?
Growing up, I didn’t like to read as I found it time-consuming. I’m an “action guy” and like to solve problems. But soon, I realised that I was running out of ideas and I can’t seem to break through my limitations. That’s when I started to read and discovered that reading widens my exposure to what I don’t know and it confirms what I think I know. Either way, I’m learning something all the time. Here’s a tip for you – if you want to have a good grasp of biblical knowledge in a manner that’s easy to understand, read the books written by Dr. Brian Bailey (Zion Fellowship). His books have helped laid a strong foundation in my spiritual walk and always pulls me closer to the Father.
How often do you read?
I schedule 30-45 minutes for reading every day and this is apart from the daily bible reading. I used the “7 Spheres of Influence” as a guide for the categories of books or articles to read – Family (marriage, parenting, leadership, discipleship, relationship), Business (technology, economics, stewardship, management), Government (current affairs), Religion (church growth), Education, Media (communications, general knowledge), Arts & Entertainment (what’s trending). We meet and lead people all the time. I want to be updated and well-versed with what’s going on out there in the world and connect with the people I’m meeting as much as possible. It’s always good and helpful to know how people are thinking, the context of the society, and the pressures they’re facing. Jesus is always relevant to his audience.
Where do you find the time to read?
Either during lunchtime (yes, skipped lunch to catch up on reading) and at night after I’ve spent some time with my children and send them to bed, which will be around 10.30pm – 12 midnight.
What is your bible reading schedule like?
I follow the bible reading plan using the New Living Translation (NLT) bible as I find this version presents the bible like a “storybook” which helps me stay on track in my reading plan. For study and teaching, I use the NKJV version and supplemented by the Amplified bible and Strong’s concordance. Recently I’ve been using The Passion Translation (TPT) version quite a fair bit. It’s quite good. In addition to that, as much as possible, I read one chapter of Proverbs for the “Wisdom of God” and the “words in red” found in the Gospels.
Print or eBook?
Both! eBooks are convenient and they save me a lot of storage space. But if it’s a book I’d like to keep, then I’ll get the hardcopy because those books marked the milestones in my journey with God. There are some things which cannot be replaced by digital media. I still keep my old bibles which had my handwritings and scribbling of notes and dates beside the verses, and I do go through them from time to time, giving thanks to God for seeing me through all these years.
Here are some of Pastor Kevin’s books recommendations:
- Foxes Books of Martyrs
- Why Revival Tarries, Leonard Ravenhill
- Visions of Heaven & Hell, John Bunyan
- Leading On Empty, Wayne Cordeiro
- Leadership (3 volumes), Dr. Brian Bailey
- The Journey of Israel, Dr. Brian Bailey
“When you have just the Word, you dry up. When you have just the Spirit, you blow up. But when you have the Word AND the Spirit, you’ll grow up.”