By Darryl Dash
I've noticed something. People in our churches are used to opening their Bibles during the sermon. I assume that many of them are reading their Bibles during the week at home. But, except for during the sermon, and maybe small groups and Bible studies, Bibles remain closed.
This means that Bibles stay closed most of the time. They stay closed as elders meet to give oversight to the ministry of the church. They stay closed as deacons administer the the church. They stay closed as pastors meet one-on-one with members of the church. They stay closed as committees meet.
The Bible is good for Bible study, we seem to be saying. But we seem to be saying something by putting the Bibles away the rest of the time. And what we're saying scares me.
I am wondering what church would look like if we didn't put the Bibles away so quickly.
Maybe when our churches grew, we could say that "the Word of God increased" (Acts 12:24).
Maybe we could say that the Bible reverberates throughout our entire church. Read Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People if you want to know more.
Maybe we wouldn't need books like David Helm's, because we already know what to do.
Maybe we could have what The Trellis and the Vine describes:
We are really talking about a Bible reading movement - in families, in churches, in neighborhoods, in workplaces, everywhere. Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their discipleship, were caught up in a web of regular Bible reading - not only digging into the word privately, but reading it with children before bed, with their spouse over breakfast, with a non-Christian colleague at work once a week over lunch, with a new Christian for follow-up once a fortnight for mutual encouragement, and with a mature Christian friend once a month for mutual encouragement.
It would be a chaotic web of personal relationships, prayer, and Bible reading - more of a movement than a program - but at another level it would be profoundly simple and within reach of all.
What would this look like? I don't know, but I'm dreaming. Hope you'll join me.
Darryl Dash is a church planter at work in starting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto, and blogs at Dash House. Dash writes "about Jesus changes everything."