We are so pleased that you are interested in reading the Bible and spending time with God in prayer in 2017.
In 2011 we, as a church, encouraged as many as could to follow through the E100 Bible Reading plan. From 2013 until 2015, we encouraged you to consider following the 3 year “Walk With The Word” bible reading scheme that takes you through the Bible in three years with weekly FaceBook post support.
All this was great, and so many were blessed in following these schemes. But when you are learning and studying God’s word on your own it’s much more difficult than when you have others who are going through the same passages alongside you, who you can share with and who can encourage one another.
So, from 2016 we have been recommending a different approach. We are recommending that you “Read the Bible Together” … that you pair-up or team-up with some others to read through the Bible in a year with a scheme designed to help you do so!
So, what is ‘Read the Bible Together’?
This is much more than a reading ‘scheme’ or ‘plan’ you work through on your own. Instead, we are suggesting that we live out what it is to ‘make Disciples’ … to be ‘Disciple-making Disciples’! We are suggesting that you join up with others in SBC to form a small group of people, and start discipling one another by reading and learning from God’s word alongside one another. It could be as a couple, in a prayer triplet, as a Home Group, or with whatever size group of people you are able to get together.
This does not mean that you actually physically read together. Rather, it’s reading God’s word daily on your own from the same Bible Reading plan, and also arranging to meet up regularly to share how God has spoken to you through His word. It could be a weekly meeting in a coffee shop or at home. Alternatively it might be a daily ‘virtual meeting’ by texting or messaging one another, or maybe by keeping a journal of ‘quiet time thoughts’ on in a FaceBook Group you set up. It’s up to you how you do it … find something that works for your group of people.
This will enable you to continually encourage one another in reading His word, to pray for one another as you read and learn together, to bless one another as you post verses God has blessed you with, or to help one another to resolve passages that are difficult to understand. And as you see each other grow in love for the Lord you will all be encouraged by what you see God doing!
To enable you to get going, we have a few basic suggestions:
- Text, email, message or phone a few friends today … suggest they join up with you in ‘Reading the Bible Together’.
- Select a bible study plan to follow through (there is one particular suggestion below, but you can find your own plan to use).
- Arrange how you are going to meet up from time to time to talk about where you are and what you’ve learnt – a physical time & place, a WhatsApp group, or a Facebook Group are all possibilitites.
- Get going!
- Continue to share God’s blessings with your group as you are able – by whatever means.
Resources to help
We are recommending one particular Bible Reading Plan which is very helpful in reading as a group. It is called the Let’s Read The Bible Together plan.
It’s designed to be monthly – a new part of the plan starts each month so that if you get behind you can start afresh at the start of the next month. It’s also supported by the YouVersion Bible App or the website www.bible.com … just search for “Let’s Read The Bible Together” in the Plans section and you will find the plan for each month.
If you don’t want to use these online resources, download the plan here in three-monthly installments (courtesy of CPC):
What if I don’t want to follow that plan?
Well, of course you don’t have to. It would be great to have loads of people following the same reading plan within the church, but you can choose something else if you want!
There are a wide range of possible ways to work your way systematically through the Bible, and at this address: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/ you will find a brilliant list to help you find the right one for you. Tim Chester has a 3 year plan here: https://timchester.wordpress.com/2016/12/11/bible-reading-plan-2017/ … this one is broken down in weeks rather than days so that you can be more flexible about how you read each day. The “Walk with the Word” plan that we recommended from 2013-2015 is also still available.
If you prefer to follow a book with some passage guides and questions, can I recommend The Daily Walk Bible which you can purchase from from eden.co.uk.
What if we don’t start on 1st January?
Don’t worry about it … just pick it up from where you are able to start!
What if I don’t have a group to read with?
Start the plan anyway, and see if you can gather other folk in as you go … try asking folk in your Home Group!
Let’s get going…
So, if you’ve not yet picked up on planned Bible readings, have a go at this!! Get alongside a few others and start off together … you can check up on each other, disciple one another, grow together and share God’s blessing to you as you go through the year!