As I’ve been reading ‘Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal about Spiritual Growth‘, I’ve been struck by the importance of reading the Bible.
This is basic stuff, but it’s easily forgotten. Here’s a couple of choice quotes:
“We learned that the most effective strategy for moving people forward in their journey of faith is biblical engagement. Not just getting people into the Bible when they’re in church—which we do quite well—but helping them engage the Bible on their own outside of church.”
“Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture.”
That last quote really hit me. We all know the Bible is important. But how many people in our churches are regularly reading the Bible and spending time with God outside of formal church activities?
And, how different would our churches look if everyone was regularly feeding from God’s word? I think it’s an encouraging and exciting vision!
I’ve been brainstorming ways to encourage people to read the Bible more regularly. Here’s some ideas – I’d love to hear your ideas too.
- Give people a print out of the readings for next week’s sermons, as they leave church this week.
- Launch a church reading challenge – e.g. read the whole of the New Testament in the next 72 days.
- Sign-up to Rick Warren’s ‘40 Days in the Word‘ starting 29 January.
- Preach a series on the ‘devotional life’ (e.g. here’s one from Tim Keller).
- Encourage Bible study groups to spend a regular session (perhaps one week in four) sharing what they’ve been reading in their own Bible sessions, and how they’ve been growing.
- Include times in the service where people can share encouragements from what they’ve been reading in the Word.
- Provide everyone with a journal to document their readings and learnings.
- Invite people to subscribe to a daily reading or devotional. You could create your own readings as a church (e.g. Park Community Church), or simply sign people up to a reading plan at BibleGateway.
- Ask people to share testimonies of how they have grown as a result of time spent in the Word.
- Print out a Bible reading plan and give it to everyone at church this weekend (e.g. PDF plans from Ligonier).
Bonus – send members of your church a link to this article ‘30+ resources to help you read the Bible in 2012‘.
Image credit: Ligonier.