How long have you gone without eating? Drinking water? Sleeping? Breathing? These are all essential activities we need to do to live. No one really tells us to eat or breathe, we just do. Our body knows it needs food to function and air to stay alive. Can you imagine giving up any of these activities or going without for any period of time?
The thought of attempting to live without these activities in our life seems ridiculous, yet most people attending church try this every day. Are they going without food? No, just look around. We don’t miss too many meals these days, but spiritually speaking we go days, weeks and even months without strengthening and feeding ourselves spiritually.
In a recent survey done by Lifeway Research, 40% of people attending church responded they read their Bible a few times a month. Even worse, 26% of those surveyed responded less than once a month. Those numbers would not be so shocking if they were coming from the general population, but these are people attending church on a regular basis. These are people you would think would claim the Bible as valuable.
The age breakdown of this study is not known, but just assume they are all adults. Do you really think the numbers for students would be better? If I had to guess I would think they would be even worse. How can we expect people in our churches to be growing in their faith, allowing God’s Word to transform their lives, if they aren’t reading it? Forget about studying it, they aren’t even reading it.
As we seek to help students grow in their faith and allow God’s Word to dwell in them, we must help them know His Word. Knowing starts with reading. Each quarter we will post a reading plan to help students read through the books they will be exploring. The plan will align with the weekly sessions and extend beyond the verses we will focus on. This way, you can provide an easy to follow plan that will help students read through entire books not just a couple verses that caught their eye.
It simply isn’t enough to listen to a sermon and one small group discussion each week. There must be personal time spent reading the Words God gave to us. Encourage your students and challenge them to use the reading plan and start reading the greatest story ever told.