Reading the Bible in church is a crucial part of our meeting together. Hearing God’s word is the heart of our Sunday service, so reading the Bible should be taken seriously, and done with joy. Clear and careful reading greatly helps people to understand and respond to the word of God.
- Frequency: Bible reading volunteers are generally on the roster every six weeks at the most
- In advance: at least ten minutes preparing for the reading
- Before the service: Bible readers are welcome to join the other up-front contributors to pray for the service 15 minutes before the start time.
What does a win look like?
- The congregation have heard the planned bible passages read accurately and clearly.
- The congregation follow along in pew bibles easily, if they wish
Keys to winning
- You will receive an email with the run sheet, or a phone call with the details of the reading, on the Thursday before the service. (Any bible passages listed on a roster are subject to change, and the run sheet will have the final version)
- Always read from the the correct version of the bible (NRSV at St John's and St Oswalds, NIV at St Alban's) so that people can read along in the pew bibles.
- If you don't have a copy of the correct version, you can access them at bible.crosswalk.com
- Think about which words should be emphasised, where the phrases start and end, which phrases should be fast or slow, and where there should be pauses (eg paragraph breaks).
- The best way to introduce each reading is like this:
“Our first Bible reading is on page 321 of the pew bibles. It's from the book of Judges, chapter 3, starting at verse 4”. Note that there's no real need to say where the passage ends.
- After introducing the reading, wait until those opening pew bibles have found the right page before you start. You may like to repeat the page number.
- Because we naturally rush when standing in front of a group of people, a speed that feels too slow to you is probably about right!
- It's helpful to leave a good-sized pause at the end of each reading before moving on.
- There's no need to say anything at the end, just let the readings speak for themselves.
- A great resource on effective bible reading is Clifford Warne's talk on sydneyanglicans.net - well worth a listen