Saturday, October 23, 2021

First, read the Bible

Going on from a previous post on the need for biblical literacy, I was thinking about how we induct 'volunteers' into church service roles.

But, then I thought of various other scenarios: attending a bible/theological college, undertaking a 'gap year' ministry activity, etc.

A pre-condition for all of them should be: read the Bible from cover to cover.

People would quake at the prospect, because we've reduced Bible reading to small snippets for devotional or didactic purposes. Scripture Union notes were the worst offender in my experience. They should have started each book's reading cycle with a direction to read the entire book, ideally twice. Once fast, once slowly, and preferably in different translations. It would only be the longest books that would present a challenge for most.

But for formal study or roles, everyone should have a baseline of familiarity with the Bible.

If anyone complained, my retort would be: put aside your social media, you YouTube/TV watching, your novel reading (?), your too frequent coffee and shopping expeditions, and spend an hour or so each evening for at least 5 a week, reading the Bible.

For church volunteers make it an 18 month program, but for young people particularly, three months should do it.

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