Here’s a secret. Don’t tell anyone, but reading the Bible is a discipline for me. In other words, it’s not natural. In fact, reading in general is something that I have to discipline myself to do. I don’t think I read an entire novel-length book until high school. And I didn’t enjoy reading until half way through college. So, as you can imagine, reading the Bible is something that takes work for me… even as a pastor. Don’t get me wrong, I crave it and when I get into it, I’m in. Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe it’s easy for you. Then stop reading because this won’t help you.
If reading in general and specifically, reading the Bible, are difficult for you. I hope these 3 tips to kickstart reading the Bible helps.
Andy Stanley, pastor and founder of North Point Ministries does a great job unpacking a simple strategy to kickstart this process. Enjoy this 9:30 minute clip from an old sermon series called TEXT below:
- Find a Time
This is all about the principle of pre-decision. If you pre-decide that you’re going to read some of the Bible at a certain time of day, it will help you stay consistent. If you say, “Maybe I’ll do it in the morning” or “Maybe I’ll get to it on my lunch break” you’ve basically decided not to decide, which leads to inaction. But if you pre-decide, you can set an alarm, and then when the time comes it will be easier to follow through.
- Find a Place
You need a space without distraction. I recommend not reading in a place where you would normally text, watch TV, or sleep. If I read in bed, I fall asleep. If I read with my phone next to me, screen-up, I end up texting or checking my email. You need dedicated space. You need a chair in the corner or a pillow in your closet. You need a bench at the park or a stool at your coffee shop. The point, find a place that you don’t use for anything else.
- Pick a Plan
Believe it or not, this is probably the easiest part. There are literally thousands of plans but here are the resources I recommend. If you’re a digital reader, meaning you read on your iPad or iPhone or whatever already, then it won’t be that difficult for you to start reading on that same device. Download the Bible App, sign up for a youversion.com account (through the app) and subscribe to a reading plan. Reading plans range from 3 days to 1 year reading plans. I like to mix it up and do a two week plan, then a 3 day, then something else. It keeps it moving and different. The length of what you’re reading doesn’t need to be long, but you just need to concentrate while you read. Give it your focus. If you’re not a digital reader, then I recommend a printed out reading plan that you can keep in a Bible and you can mark off as you go. Here’s a great one to download and use.
So there you have it, 3 Tips for Kickstart Reading the Bible in 2014. So go Find A Time, Find A Place and Pick a Plan to get you started with reading the Bible.
What else is working for you?