Scripture Engagement through the Public Reading of Scripture - Practice Tips
If you find yourself inspired as you learn about the impact the public reading of Scripture can have on a community of believers, one of your first steps is to help educate others so that they can be inspired as well. Do your research, start talking about what you’re learning, and don’t expect overnight change in your community. Expect to start small, perhaps by practicing good, prepared reading in a small group or Sunday school class. Through prayer and active pursuit of God’s guidance, who knows where he might take your ministry in its use of this practice?
Take time to pray about what a public reading ministry might look like in your ministry. Who can be a reader—just pastors and elders or are other members of the congregation included? How will passages be chosen? Will your ministry involve regular group meetings or simply a schedule of gifted readers who prepare individually for their reading?
If you are not in a pastoral role but are passionate about seeing the ministry of public Scripture reading implemented in your church, consider scheduling a meeting with your pastor to discuss your vision. Ask about current methods of Scripture reading and why they are done this way. Ask if your pastor could see the public reading of Scripture taking a more integral role in regular worship services and suggest steps that might be taken to achieve this.
Choose a book, article, pamphlet, or other resource to pass on to anyone interested in becoming a regular Scripture reader for your church or ministry. This will give them a good overview of what is expected and let them know how seriously your ministry takes public Scripture reading. Such a resource will also serve as preliminary training for new readers, though individual instruction may be needed later.
Consider selecting readers who have life experiences appropriate to specific passages. For example, having a parent/child team read Ephesians 6:1-4, either in a tag-team verse-by-verse format or reading the passage twice, one right after the other, might give a new perspective to the reading. If appropriate, the voice of someone who has experienced grief or loss might uniquely draw out the passion of Psalm 30:8-12 or another passage expressing sorrow or triumph over sorrow through the Lord.
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