If you are a youth pastor or youth worker, one of your primary purposes is to teach the Bible to students. Sure, your responsibilities may include event planning, budgeting, organizational work, and other behind the scenes stuff, but ministry is about creating and developing disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is only done through the Bible.
But, for many youth workers (not to mention many Christians), reading the whole Bible is not a priority in their lives. They read the Bible for lesson prep, they read the Bible on Sunday morning during a sermon, and they might even read a portion of Scripture for a daily quiet time. Sadly, this scattershot approach to reading the Bible is not nourishing enough for ministry; we need a steady diet of the Bible to minister effectively. Reading through the whole Bible is vital to our Christian walk, our participation in the Christian community, and our ministry to others. That is why I think youth pastors need to read through the Bible at least once per year.
3 Reasons to Read the Bible in a Year:
- Big Picture view of the Bible.It is too easy of falling into the trap of the urgent, studying only those Bible passages you are preaching/teaching on in the next few weeks. But you need to have a bigger picture of the Bible. By regularly reading through every chapter of the Bible, you gain a deeper and fuller understanding of how God has worked in history and how he continues to work in our lives.
- Unstick some pages. Just like I said above, it is very easy to focus our Bible study and lesson prep times just on the passages we are preaching/teaching in youth group that week. And, unless we are preaching through the entire Bible in a year, that means there are large swaths of the Bible we are neglecting. In some of those sections, the pages might still be stuck together, just like they are when they leave the printer. If you read through the Bible regularly, you will be “unsticking” some of those pages, while at the same time seeing what God is communicating to you.
- Fills Your Cup. I heard a professor once say that teaching and preaching the Bible is like filling up your audience’s cups with water. In order to fill up their cups, your own cup needs to be topped off first. By reading through the Bible on your own, you are filling yourself up on the Word of God, so that you can later pour some of that Word into your students.
On Friday, I will provide a list of 5 recommended Bible Reading plans for 2012.
(image from khrawlings)