Did you know that only 14% of Canadian Christians read the Bible at least once every week? That number is almost completely unbelievable.
And it is a disaster. What other group of people will ignore the words of their leader? What other group of people claims to follow someone without paying any attention to him? Who would possibly dare to ignore the message of the Ruler of the Universe?
This leave us with an obvious question: If the Bible is actually God’s Word, why on earth would only 14% of Christians care enough to read it once a week?
- Perhaps it is because they don’t believe it really is God’s Word.
- Perhaps because they do not believe that it is relevant to their lives.
- Perhaps because they do not know anyone else who reads the Bible.
- Or perhaps because they do not know how to go about it? There is, in some circles, quite a mystique about reading the Bible and that can intimidate people. Besides, it is a long, complicated book, and without a bit of guidance people easily can get overwhelmed by names, laws, or distasteful prophecies.
So for those who want to read the Bible but just can’t seem to make it work, here are some simple tips:
- Make it possible: Buy a Bible and make sure it is accessible. You can invest a lot of money in a gold-edged, leather Bible, but personally I prefer an inexpensive one that I can take anywhere without worrying about it. Or get an audio Bible. Or download a Bible onto your phone. Or do all three.
- Make it simple: Have the Bible available when and where you would like to read it. Put it on the treadmill, in your purse, beside your bed, or on your kitchen windowsill. And then don’t make a production of reading it—just open it and read.
- Pray: Simply ask God to bless your reading and help you understand it, and then open your Bible and read. During or after your reading you may want to pray again.
- Make Bible reading part of your daily routine: There are many ways to do this. As my husband and I learned from our parents, we read the Bible after every meal—just a simple 5 minutes or less of reading aloud. Regular personal Bible reading also depends on routine: when you get up, when you eat, when you nurse the baby, before you read anything else, before you go to sleep…these are all options that have worked for me throughout the years. Just attach your Bible reading time to something else you do regularly.
- Get some guidance: If you are new to Bible reading, begin with Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Then ask someone at your church or a Christian you know about what to read next. Have a Bible handbook available as you read. Learn the Bible stories. Learn the Bible message. Follow one of the Bible reading plans that are widely available online and in print. I listed some Bible resources here.
- Discuss your reading with other people: The study quoted above concluded that ‘conversation with others about the meaning of the Bible is the key factor in deepening Bible engagement.’
If you have been having a hard time reading your Bible, I hope these simple tips will help. If you do read your Bible, as I know many of my dear readers do, please add any helpful tips in the comments.
Let us all read our Bibles regularly and encourage other Christians to do so as well. This is vitally important for each one of us as well as for our families, churches, and culture.
As homeschooling moms, we have the opportunity to read the Bible with our children daily and to show them how important it is. This may well be the most valuable thing we can do for our children…and, seeing these statistics, for our culture as well.
Note: This study was done in Canada. I expect similar statistics could be gathered in other countries. For more information about the study visit the Bible Engagement Study website or the Bible League Canada website.
Disclosure: As usual, I am not compensated for bringing this study to your attention