Developing a Vibrant Reading Plan

Stuck when it comes to reading the Bible?

Many—if not most—followers of Jesus Christ desire to read other books to supplement their walk
with Jesus in becoming more obedient disciples and missionaries. Christians value the Word of
God, the Holy Bible. They cherish the pages of Scripture. Other theologians and modern Christian
authors are a refreshing joy to read and interact with simply because they help break off the truths
of Scripture into more consumable pieces.

Even with all the books we have that are gifts to the
Church and world, Christians cannot—and I believe should not—view other works of men and
women as more quote-worthy or inspiring than the Bible. The Bible is the authority. The Bible is
powerful and can be trusted. As well intentioned as many extra-biblical authors may be, they are
with error at some point—especially when considered along side the Bible.

In this way the Bible is in a class all by itself. All of it is safe. All of it is helpful. There is no danger in reading any of it and all of it. As Charles Spurgeon says, "Visit other books, but live in the Bible." If you only have 10 minutes a day to read (which is probably underestimating) then I ask you to spend 10 minutes consuming and meditating and praying the book above all other books, the Bible. Personally, I use a predetermined Bible reading plan and I would reccommend this approach to you.

But in regards to other books outside of Scripture, where does one begin? I’m not speaking of
specific “best books” that I’d recommend; rather I’m addressing how to determine what one needs
to read and when.

Consider reading something each month or quarter that is on a subject or by an author that you
love. This is easy and fun reading. This reading is somewhat predictable in regards to its content.

Also consider reading an aspect of theology where you are unlearned or unskilled or even just
curious.

Consider reading a life principle book like that of leadership or parenting for instance.

Consider reading a devotional book of prayers or meditation.

Consider reading a biographical account of a respected leader that you are intrigued by.

Consider reading something that is pertinent to your career and calling. Basically, think of where you are weak or untrained and read to that weakness. All the while continuing to fan into flame the areas you feel well versed in to stay hot there.

But be careful of only reading things you agree with and only from a handful of favorite
authors. Broaden your scope. Ask others who you trust what they recommend on a certain subject.

Finally, I recommend that you always be reading. If you get bogged down in a book that is crushing the
desire to read, then move on. Begin reading a different author or a fresh concept. Don’t continue to
plow through stone—unless that’s your determined goal. Plow where the soil is receptive to the
plow. There are millions of books out there. If you are going to stop all things and read the pages of
a certain book—make sure it is helping you love Jesus and your enemy more and make sure it is
helping you stay excited about reading.

Next steps: Make some quick notes regarding your thoughts on particular books you would like to
begin reading. Ask others what they recommend on certain authors or concepts. Commit to reading
from those books for at least 40 minutes each day until you have completed them. Share with others
that you are reading certain things and have them read along with you to keep you accountable as
well as to make a disciple. Turn notifications off when you read. Distraction is a poison to deep
thought, meditation, and significant reading. Go for it!