Over 25 percent of adults in America admit they haven’t read a book in the past year.1
This decline in reading has hit the Church hard, too. In 2016, only a third of believers could say they read the Bible once a week or more.2
If Christians aren’t reading the Bible or books that encourage spiritual growth, how can they mature? It’s an undeniable problem. (Josh. 1:8; Rom. 10:17; Matt. 4:4)
The Christian life should be a journey of knowing God better—and that starts with reading his Word. But reading books about the Bible and Christian life also opens up learning in an amazing way.
So how do you get your church reading more?
Make it easier. Make it more fun. Make it more powerful.
How do you do that? Read on.
1. Make it easier: provide the right books to the right people.
As a pastor or church leader, you’ve probably already got a go-to list of books you could recommend. Books that helped you appreciate salvation in a new way, understand Scriptures more fully, or reach a new level of faith. But recommending a book and getting that book read are two different things.
Now when you want to share a book—whether with your whole church, your small group, your children’s ministry leaders, your worship team, etc.—you can do it in a few moments. And it’s not a paper copy that collects dust on a shelf or gets forgotten at home.
It’s a digital book available on any device anywhere, anytime.
All you need to do is head to logos.com (from the makers of Faithlife), ebooks.faithlife.com, or lexhampress.com to find a book for your entire church, small group, etc. Then add as many copies as you need to your cart! After that, you can assign the book to anyone (more on that later).
They can start reading—and growing—right away.
2. Make it more fun.
Imagine there’s a stellar new restaurant everyone is talking about or an epic trip you can’t stop thinking about.
Do you want to go alone? Or would it be more fun if someone shared it with you?
By sharing books with a group in your church instead of individuals, you’re giving people an opportunity to share the experience with other brothers and sisters in Christ.
How much more memorable would that be? How many more conversations would it spark? There’d be a lot of ironing sharpening iron. After all, spiritual nourishment is more filling than the best meal. Walking with God is the best trip anyone could ever take.
3. Make it more powerful.
In-person conversations about what you’re learning are like vacations. Wonderful! But they can’t happen all the time because . . . well, have you looked at your schedule lately?
There is something that can and does happen all the time, though—conversations online. But they tend to be scattered all over the place (Messenger, email, FaceTime, Twitter, etc.).
With a free group on Faithlife, you’ve got one cozy “living room” all set up for the best conversations and always ready for company.
The new mom who’s up for the fourth time that night, the healthcare worker on “lunch” break at 3:00 a.m., the truck driver on a cross-country trek . . . they can all share their questions and thoughts just as much as the person who can be in church every time the doors are open.
Once you’ve assigned Logos books to your church or group members (see next section), every member has a built-in place to talk about what they’re reading. And of course, you can serve as the gracious host. Encourage members to keep coming back to their reading through:
- Asking questions
- Sending one-on-one messages to members
- Starting video chats from right inside the group
- Sharing your own thoughts
How to set group reading in motion
You can do it right now in just a few minutes.
- If you haven’t yet, create a group on Faithlife. If you have a group but you want to distribute the books to a smaller group of people, create a new subgroup—for example, you might have a group for your whole church, but you don’t have one for your new small group.
- As you might’ve caught above, choose a book from logos.com, ebooks.faithlife.com, or lexhampress.com. Figure out how many copies you need, then add them to your cart.
- In the popup that appears next, find your church group. (If you see “You are an admin,” you know that’s your group!)
- Next, assign the books to your group members. Watch the video below to see every step, or check out the written instructions here.)
- Once you’ve assigned the books, your group members can access them right away via the Logos desktop application, in their web browser at app.logos.com, or the Logos mobile app.
If you have any questions, our friendly church tech experts are happy to help 365 days a year. Yep, even Christmas and Easter.
With all the books available on Logos, it wouldn’t be fair to leave you with no recommendations. Here are just a few. Feel free to add more in the comments!
Books for small groups
- Ruth: Finding God in the Margins
- Christ and Calamity: Grace and Gratitude in the Darkest Valley
- Experiencing the Wonder of God’s Presence: Teachings from the Book of Hebrews
- How to Read the Bible Book by Book
Books for pastors or church leaders
- The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart
- What Is a Healthy Church?
- Hearers and Doers: A Pastor’s Guide to Making Disciples through Scripture and Doctrine
- Pastoral Ministry in the Real World: Loving, Teaching, and Leading God’s People
Books for seminary students
- Surviving and Thriving in Seminary: An Academic and Spiritual Handbook
- How to Stay Christian in Seminary
Books for new Christians
Books for teens
- Philippians: Confident in Christ
- Ephesians: Transformed in Christ
- Know Your Bible from A to Z: A Quick Handbook to the People, Places, and Things
Though the Bible should undeniably receive top priority among all books, reading other books can embolden holy living, deepen our understanding of Scripture, and help us grow into mature followers of Christ.
Which book will you start with?
- https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/09/26/who-doesnt-read-books-in-america/, accessed 8/19/20.
- https://www.barna.com/research/the-bible-in-america-6-year-trends/, accessed 8/19/20.