I would like to introduce a resource to you which I think will be helpful for Sunday School teachers and leaders to read. It is Read The Bible For Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George Guthrie. B & H Publishers, Union University and LifeWay Christian Resources have partnered together to publish this book and several accompanying resources to support what is being called the Read the Bible for Life campaign. The goal of the campaign is to promote Biblical literacy among the members of your church as well as those who attend.
The leaders of the campaign have found through research that only 16% of churchgoers read the Bible every day. Only 32% read the Bible at least once a week. Only 37% say that reading and studying the Bible has made a significant difference in the way they live their lives.
Personally, I remember the first year of my Christian life as a teenage boy when I read the entire Bible through in 365 days. I had been to youth camp and had been challenged to do this for the next year. I found a Bible with a Bible reading plan in the front pages and I began reading and marking off my progress. The next year, at the youth camp, I went out during personal devotions time and sat under a big oak tree and finished reading the last few chapters of Malachi and Revelation. I experienced a great sense of joy and accomplishment, not to mention a good framework of Bible history and content in those early years of my discipleship path.
So I would encourage you who are pastors and Sunday School leaders to make this opportunity available to your congregations in 2012.
The first thing you could do would be to read through George Guthrie’s book Read The Bible For Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word. Another thing you could do would be to structure a campaign for your church to read the Bible through in 2012.
LifeWay Christian Resources is also publishing some accompanying resources that would help with such a campaign. Those resources consist of a small group video study that surveys the Old and New Testaments in chronological order. Several discipleship groups or small Bible study groups could offer this curriculum in the coming year. There is a new B & H Bible being published called Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible. Or if you prefer using your own Bible, there is a resource being published called A Reader’s Guide To the Bible that leads readers to read the Scriptures chronologically and gives tips for application.
I would encourage you to lead your congregation to jump in on this and encourage people to read the Scriptures through in 2012. I think you will find it will deepen the discipleship path of the people and help them understand the God whom they serve and follow.
Let’s read God’s Word through in 2012 and make it a habit. Approximately 3 chapters a day (2 Old Testament and 1 New Testament) will take you through the Bible in a year.
For more information you can visit on to www.readthebibleforlife.com.
Richard Nations is the Church Health Strategist for the Baptist Convention of Iowa. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org