For the last eight years, we’ve been following a church-wide Bible Reading plan at Banstead Community Church.
It’s called The Big Read.
It doesn’t get us through the Bible in a year (it takes 4 years) but it’s easy and manageable, and it has worked well for us as a local church.
Here’s how our plan works:
Each month we read through 1 (occasionally 2) books of the Bible.
At the beginning of each month, we introduce the book we are reading at our evening service. The first time we went through the Bible together, I gave an overview of the book (introductory comments, outline of the book’s structure, and some ways we see Jesus in the book). The second time round, we showed these great overview videos from The Bible Project and had a short sermon preached on a passage from the book. This time I’m going to be giving a 10 minute introduction followed by a 10 minute devotion on one (maybe two) verse(s).
Members of the church can also sign up to have daily readings from the month’s book sent to them by email (thank you Holman Bible Publishers for giving permission to use the CSB translation) and for daily thoughts on each reading via WhatsApp.
In the past I’ve done a children’s talk on The Big Read book during the morning service, which we are using again. Here are links to the talks I did.
Finally, for those in the church who like to use Bible Reading notes, some good places to find notes for the book of the Bible being read that month are the Undated Devotions from 10ofthose.com, the Explore app from The Good Book Company or their God’s Word for You Commentaries, or IVP’s Food for the Journey.
What are some of the benefits of a church-wide Bible reading plan?
Accountability: It’s encouraging to know that others in the church are reading what you are reading in the Bible. That you are not alone in doing this!
Conversation: If others in the church are reading the same book, you have people you can talk about the same passages with.
Increased appetite for sequential expository preaching: See this article Lectio Continua for the Pulpit and Pew.
How about joining in by reading Matthew in September?