Read the Bible Aloud with One Another

Twenty-some years ago I sat in a church leader conference of four or five thousand people. I assume all of us gathered to hear great preaching by some very well-known ministers, and we were not disappointed — the messages we heard were inspiring — but I cannot remember any of those messages but one. The memorable one came from a young man wearing a white robe (he looked like the Jesus pictures you often see in church), who simply took the stage and recited the entire Sermon on the Mount, from memory. It was the best sermon of the night and I’ve never forgotten it.
Every pastor or small group leader wants the people he or she leads to become disciples of Jesus. Every Christian parent wants their child to follow Jesus and find an abundant life, rather than a disastrous life. The living God has equipped us for this divine and noble task: He has given us the Bible and He wants us to read aloud to one another. Church leaders are to read it to their students and parents are to read it to their children. “Is that it?” you ask. No, there’s more to making disciples and raising children than just reading the Bible aloud to them, but that is a BIG part of it, and far too often neglected.
Recently I heard about Bill, a New York City office manager who invited his associates to come into his office at lunchtime to listen to the Word of Promise audio Bible. Bill gave no comment or sermon at the end of lunch; each one just listened, then went back to work. Here’s my point: the Bible was designed to be read aloud in community for the purpose of transformation. Why not invite people to your home or space at work to simply hear the Bible read aloud? YouVersion, ESV Bible, and Dwell are a few of the apps available to assist anyone in having the Bible read aloud.
The Lord God instructed Moses to regularly read the Law to Israel (Exodus 24:7). To begin His public ministry, Jesus read aloud from the Book of Isaiah in the synagogue. Paul instructed Timothy to “devote himself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Timothy 4:13). The most practiced spiritual disciple in the Bible is reading the Bible aloud in community. If we do likewise, it may be the thing that does the most good for others, and what others remember most about us.
Grace & Peace, Bob Paddock