In some respects, service as a Reader in a Church of Christ, Scientist, begins even before being elected by the congregation. Since it's not a permanent post, but one shared over the years by many members of the congregation, there must be many members whose hearts are being prepared for future service, regardless of whoever may be reading at any particular time. The Bible says that "the preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord." Prov. 16:1. In fact, this spiritual preparation of the heart that makes men and women receptive to the Word of God is often going on before people even find their way into a church service.
I know that in my case my heart was being prepared long before I even thought about service as a Reader in my local branch church. In fact, as the time approached for two new Readers to be elected, I was pretty sure I wasn't ready for such service. Many changes had taken place in my career, and I just didn't believe there was any way I could take on additional responsibilities in church.
One small incident at a church preparation meeting for an upcoming Christian Science lecture was a catalyst for me and changed my outlook. There was a small job to do, which involved reading a paper at the meeting. I was asked to do this when I arrived. At first I hesitated, but then learned that others had been unwilling to do it. I asked myself, "What if everyone declined?" So I gladly agreed.