What disciplines will you introduce, or re-commit to, in order to keep your leadership tank filled in 2021?
For leaders of faith, I strongly urge a steady diet of engagement with the bible, and there’s no better time to dive in to such a discipline.
Would you consider 2021 as the year you read the bible through from cover to cover?
I am just completing my 23rd year in a row reading through the bible. This practice is one that fills my spiritual tank and it’s one of the core disciplines which provides the fuel for my leadership.
But like many others, I found it to be a very challenging discipline at first. Simply starting at Genesis and plowing my way through was cumbersome, and many of the “bible-in-a-year” plans that I looked at didn’t seem much better.
But then around my third year I realized that if I was going to stick with this discipline I would need to re-arrange the reading order in a new way. And so it was that I developed my own bible reading plan that has served me well ever since.
The key, I discovered, was to assemble a plan that was built on five important principles:
1. Jesus’ story needs to be read…often.
Early on I realized that I want to revisit the life and ministry of Jesus throughout the year. My plan places the four gospels in each season of the year.
2. Name the elephant in the room – Some parts of the bible are boring.
Plowing through some sections of the Law or the minutia of genealogies can suck the life out of bible reading. I intersperse these sections with regular “bursts” of Psalms and Proverbs.
3. The Prophets come to life when they’re matched with their history.
I like to provide context for the major and minor prophets by positioning these readings as near to their corresponding history book as possible.
4. Grouping the letters creates context and texture.
I love working through Paul’s letters, taking a “gospel break” then tackling the other letters a bit later in the year.
5. Have a strong finish line.
I’ve always had a special appreciation for “the disciple Jesus loved”. I end the year with John’s gospel, followed by his letters, then the Revelation. To me this provides a wonderful year-end conclusion to the journey.
Reading the bible all the way through is not in and of itself spiritually significant, and on its own it won’t jump-start your leadership effectiveness. But the discipline of spending time in the bible can yield marvelous results.
If you want to check out my plan click here.Whatever plan you use, stick with it. The results for your leadership, and your life, could be significant.