Join us as we read through the Bible together in 2022!
We will be following the Book at a Time Bible Reading Plan. You can pick up a printed copy of the plan at the Connection Corner, print out a pdf copy here or if you prefer a digital plan, YouVersion offers this plan on their app at https://my.bible.com/reading-plans/234-discipleship-journals-book-at-a-time
Why it is important to read through the Bible in a year (or so) at least once.
One thing I love about Valley View is how much people love to study the Bible. There are a lot of phrases that can be used to describe our church, but one that rises near the top is “a Bible believing Church.” I love seeing people carrying their Bibles, especially when I see a Bible that reminds me of a quote I once heard: “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”
It’s important to be studying the Bible so that we can know the Bible and God’s Word can be at work in our lives. As some friends of mine say, people who know God’s word should love God and others more.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to daily Bible study. There are seasons for reading large portions, and there are seasons for lingering in shorter sections. Understanding the Bible is a process of moving back and forth between the big picture and the details. The more you know about the big picture, the more you understand the details, and the more you study the details, the more those inform the big picture. When it comes to understanding the big picture, there is no substitute for reading through the entire Bible.
To help us grow in our understanding of the big picture of the Bible, I am recommending this Bible reading schedule for our church in 2022. Here’s why I like this particular schedule:
Ideally one would read straight through the Bible from beginning to end. There are reasons the Bible was assembled the way it was, and reading straight through helps you pick up on some of those details. But here’s what often happens: People tear through the exciting story-based books of Genesis and Exodus, but lose hope somewhere in the middle of Leviticus. Many a good intention has been ground into dust by Leviticus. This doesn’t mean Leviticus is without value, but the change in style is so stark that many stop reading.
Some Bible reading plans try to offset this by providing readings from four or five different sections of the Bible each day. I’ve noticed with plans like this, you miss out on getting a sense of what an entire book of the Bible is about.
The plan I’m recommending balances these realities by focusing on one book at a time, but alternating back and forth between Old Testament and New Testament books, while also providing a Psalm or Proverb every day to appeal to the heart. I think it’s better to read Psalms and Proverbs this way (i.e. small portions), since blasting straight through each book doesn’t seem to be as valuable - everything kind of runs together that way.
Now, of course, ANY reading plan that you actually read is a good one. So if you have another you prefer, GO FOR IT! This is something I’m recommending and if it works for you great, and if not, no worries.
Also, some Bible reading is better than no Bible reading, so if this seems overwhelming to you, please don’t stress. Just do your best. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of this Bible reading schedule and how to adjust it to where you are:
- Try to build the habit of reading every day, even if it’s just one verse. Building the habit, especially during the first month, is way more important than completing each day's reading.
- If you get bogged down in a book (say, Leviticus?), then skim quickly through the reading for the day, or skip ahead to the next reading. If someone asks, “Did you complete the Bible Reading Plan?” just say, “Yes I did, at least most of it.”
- If reading through the entire Bible in a year feels overwhelming, then set a goal that will work for you. For instance, pick one day a week that you can read and only check in on that day. Or set a timer for five minutes every day and read what you can and then move on to the next day.
- Note that this schedule is designed for six days a week, so you can use the other day to take a break or catch up.
- If you prefer your Bible digitally, this reading plan is also available on the YouVersion Bible App. You can also have the daily reading read to you from the app or website.
I’m excited you’re taking on this incredible challenge and I’m praying God uses your effort to show you more about who He is this year!