72% of American adults have read part or all of a book in the last twelve months. That’s according to a recent report from Pew Research. Which suggests that some people aren’t readers. So when people say “I have a hard time fitting Bible reading into my schedule”, they may really mean, “I don’t read books much at all.”
It’s easy to judge, I suppose. But three of the next ten adults you see may not have read a book in the last year. They may be intelligent, thoughtful, caring, compassionate people who gather information, encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom through other means. Or they may not be able to read.
Further, the research question asked about “books you have read all or part of.” Some more of those ten people you see may not have read reflectively, or read enjoyably, or read willingly.
So when we as church people encourage people to read the Bible, we are may be creating a sense of obligation which doesn’t fit with how people process the world.
But there may be alternatives.
What, for example, if you listened to the book of Mark? Max McLean is more than willing to read the whole book to you.
What if you printed out a page and read it like a blog post? You can go to Mark 1 and look for the print icon above the text. Print it, stick it in your pocket, and pull it out while waiting for the soccer game to start (or the DVR to get to your favorite show.)
What if you had a friend tell you stories? A few years ago, I told some stories. Like John 1:35-51 where Jesus calls some disciples.
There are probably more ways to hear the Bible without having to read the book if you are not a book person.
What would you suggest?