Ministry Action: Resource Library for Employees

Do You Have A Resource Library…?

As a Christian business owner or leader, you are most likely a life-long learner. Whether you read books, blogs, and magazines or listen to podcasts or other audio materials, you most likely consume teaching resources on a regular basis. You may even have your own resource library. I bet you consider the expense of learning to be necessary – just a part of being a leader.

resource library

…For Employees?

My question is this – do you give your employees the same opportunity? Have you even thought about this? Obviously you see the benefit of constant reading and learning for your own growth. Don’t you think the same is true for your employees or team members?

ministry actionWhat I am suggesting here is not a program that forces them to read. I am not talking about forcing them to do anything.

First, it may be that no one else has ever before emphasized to them the importance of reading. Their lack of reading could also come from a lack of the financial resources. Regardless, for those that see the benefits of continuous learning, you can certainly offer your support.

Recently, I posted about easy ways to do Christian ministry in the course of doing business. Now I am about to add another one – a resource library for your employees. There is nothing complicated about doing this at all. In fact, it may be easier than you think.

How To Set Up A Resource Library

Here are some of the steps we went through to set up our resource library:

    1. Decide where you will locate it.

      It needs to give them easy access while also being monitored so it does not turn into a hide-out or junk collection point.

    2. Decide who will approve the material and the guidelines they will use.

      Depending on your purpose, you need to make sure there are guidelines for what you will and will not include. Our guideline is simple – it must not conflict with our mission statement.

    3. Decide how it will be funded.

      We fund ours through the business, but I am sure you could come up with any number of ways to raise the money to make this happen.

    4. Solicit book donations.

      Allow your employees to bring some of their favorite books and materials and donate them or loan them to the resource library. They need to understand the risk of loss, but most are fine with this.

    5. Begin with basic materials.

      I would suggest you start with your own books – those fitting the overall purpose – and then adding those resources you think will meet the basic needs of your people.

    6. Accept requests from employees.

      In the event an employee sees a book they would like to read, have them submit a request for it. If it fits your criteria, buy the book and add it to the resource library.

    7. Add your own twists.

      a. We stock several translations of the Bible. In the event an employee wants a Bible, we will buy it for them. In this case, they get to sample the various translations and choose one they like. This is one book they do not have to return to the resource library. It is theirs to keep.
      b. We also stock multiple copies of several more popular books. We encourage the employees to share these copies with anyone they meet that is interested. This is especially true with the Christian books.

As a reference only (not necessarily a guide), the following is an estimate of the mix we currently have in our resource library.

resource library resource library

Do your employees have access to a resource library?

How hard would it be to establish one for them?

What benefits do you think you would see?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • A resource center, i.e. library in my day, is a great idea. It also serves as a “quiet” place for reflection and private encouragement away from the pressures and pace of the work day. 30-40 minutes in such an oasis could give the 8-10 hours at work each day a new perspective. 

  • When I served as a church pastor, I saw the value of encouraging continuing education opportunities for “employees” firsthand. As a pastor, I had a CE fund incorporated into the budget. That only followed established church protocol. I encouraged increasing the CE fund and making it available for others. My administrative assistant took advantage of the educational moneys, went to a CE retreat geared toward her field, and became a leader on the national level among United Methodist Church ad. assistants.

  • Very cool, Tom!

    By the way, I am proud to have your book, Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes in our resource library!  Thanks for your contribution!

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