the shape of leadership

12 for 12 in 2019

Challenge your congregation to develop a Bible-reading habit

Christina Quick on December 31, 2018


What would it take to get every member of your congregation reading through the Bible? In today’s busy world, it may seem like an impossible dream. But as a new year begins, it’s a great time to talk about spiritual disciplines. While people are looking ahead, setting goals, and thinking about how they can improve their lives in 2019, challenge them to start a daily Bible-reading habit.

The fact is, people can and will carve out time for the things that matter to them. Two decades ago, Facebook and Instagram didn’t exist. Yet U.S. adults now spend an average of 45 minutes a day engaging with social media platforms, according to Nielsen. And adolescents and adults aged 15 and older spend, on average, 2.8 hours daily watching television, according to the American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

People can and will carve out time for the things that matter to them.

Squeezing in a little Netflix is one thing, but many people assume they could never find time to wade through the entire volume of Scripture. However, Crossway publishing company recently calculated the average time for reading through each book of the Bible and came up with some disarming figures.

As it turns out, it takes 74 hours and 28 minutes to read every verse from Genesis to Revelation. At that rate, it would take just 12 minutes per day to read the whole Bible in a year. That’s something virtually everyone could manage.

Challenge your congregation to spend at least 12 minutes per day, for the next 12 months, reading God’s Word. (For those who are already reading the Bible, ask them to consider adding 12 minutes to their daily study time.) Depending on an individual’s pace, it may take longer to read the entire Bible. But the point is to develop a Bible-reading habit and grow in biblical literacy. That’s a New Year’s resolution worth keeping.

This is a preview of an article appearing in the January/February 2019 edition of Influence magazine.


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