Read the Bible For Life
Read The Bible for Life
Did you know that when you gathered
for worship Sunday, 68% of the people attending had not opened their Bible
at all last week or the week before
that? In fact, according to LifeWay Research, only 16% of church attenders read
their Bible daily!
In his book The Shape of Faith to
Come, Dr. Brad Waggoner states that the most common characteristic of
growing Christians is that they read their Bible daily (p. 68). In spite of all
we do to follow the Great Commission and make disciples, the most basic
characteristic escapes 84% of our church members.
It is time for us to do something
There is a new resource available to
help you lead your church to read the entire Bible in 2012. Read the
Bible for Life by Dr. George Guthrie, Professor of Bible at Union
University was released early this year. As a personal testimony, I have been
using his One-Year Chronological Reading
Plan for my devotional time, and it has been great.
The book gives readers an
opportunity to learn how to read the Bible in a way that they can apply it and
that means something to them. Contributors to Read the Bible for Life
include David Platt, Darrell Bock, Michael Card, and others who have spent
years researching and teaching their respective areas of study. The book,
written in a narrative interview style, presents 16 conversations about reading
the Bible more effectively. There are also chapters such as “Reading the Bible
with the Family” and “Reading the Bible in Sorrow and Suffering.”
Guthrie states: “My purpose with
this book and the entire initiative is to facilitate a conversation with people
on how to read the Bible more effectively and meaningfully. I want to show
individuals how practical and relevant the Bible is to their lives. …Bible
literacy is not about Bible trivia. It’s about understanding how the parts of
Scripture—the stories, psalms, etc.—work, how the Bible’s larger Story fits
together, and how the Scriptures apply to life. The Bible has shaped history,
culture, and literature. It has the power to shape and profoundly affect our
Some ideas for implementing Read
the Bible for Life:
- Read the book, Read the Bible for Life, by George
- Provide Read the Bible for Life Discipleship Groups during the fall semester at your church (Video
curriculum available from LifeWay – 9 week series).
- Beginning January 1, distribute
chronological annual Bible reading plans to your church members (January 1
falls on a Sunday in 2012)
- Consider preaching through the Bible
in 2012. Simply choose a text from that week's Bible readings.
- Encourage your people to email
you with testimonies and stories of how reading the Bible daily is
impacting their spiritual growth. Get permission to share some of these
stories each week in your sermon.
- Go to www.bhpublishinggroup.com/readthebible for additional resources and
ideas, including a free Churchwide Initiative Guide.
the church's dry desert of biblical illiteracy, this book is a drink of cold,
refreshing water. With pastoral sensitivity and practical skill, George Guthrie
is equipping us to know, understand, and apply the treasures of God's Word in a
way that will transform our lives and our communities for the glory of our God.
I wholeheartedly recommend Read the Bible For Life for every Christian
and every leader in the church."
—David Platt, New York Times best-selling author of Radical
genuine give and take of conversation is key to the Christian community's
deeper grasp of the Scriptures. Read the Bible for Life is a celebration
of biblical conversation between friends who really love the Word. Hopefully,
lots of people will join in."
—Michael Card, award-winning musician and author
a culture where biblical illiteracy continues to spread like the proverbial
plague, George Guthrie has introduced a healing medicine in the form of Read
the Bible for Life. This overview of the Bible's nature and content will be
welcomed in churches intent on developing biblically grounded followers of
Christ. The book's conversational approach provides an easy entry for a
generation that tends to read only headlines. With fresh insights for the long
time student of God's Word and accessible material for new students, I
recommend it for all believers.”
—Ed Stetzer, Co-author of Transformational Church