Marks of Discipleship – PoWeR SuRGe (PWRSRG). Disciples of Jesus seek to…
- PRAY daily
- WORSHIP weekly
- READ the Bible
- SERVE at and beyond St. Martin
- Be in RELATIONSHIPS that encourage spiritual growth
- GIVE of time, talents and resource
This week I want to continue working our way through these marks of discipleship by looking into the third practice: READ the Bible. Disciples are committed to reading the Bible, learning to listen and respond to how God speaks to us in and through the gift of his word in scripture. This seems simple enough, but according to a recent study only 20% of all Lutheran adults read their Bible outside of Sunday worship one or more times per week. For Lutheran youth, the number is only 14%.
It’s true, the Bible is a complex book and can be difficult to understand sometimes, but there is great value in learning a few basic skills and practices to help your reading become a place where God speaks his invitation and challenge into your life. Here’s a couple quick thoughts:
- SLOW DOWN! Often times our usual method of encouraging people to read scripture is, “Ready, Set, Go!” We send them speeding recklessly into scripture and often people simply crash and burn in frustration. We say, “read a chapter every day” or we give them a plan to read the the Bible in year and send them on their way. Now, there is nothing wrong with either of these practices, but both can be quite difficult for someone who has little or no discipline in reading scripture. There is no need to be in a hurry. Start simple. Use something like the Daily Bible Readings in this bulletin to get started… reading just a few verses each day.
- READ WITH SOMEONE – Bible reading does not have to be just a “ME” activity, it can be a “WE” activity as well. In fact, until the invention of the printing press, the Bible was primarily read in community simply because it was too expensive for people to have their own Bibles. Reading with someone encourages accountability for sure, but it also provides an opportunity to talk about what you have been reading which often helps in things like understanding and application.
Starting in May there will be some opportunities through our church that will provide an opportunity to join with others in this practice of READing the Bible. Watch for more info to come, but start READing today!