01.12.2015

5 ways to use ANY Bible reading plan

Emily E. Ryan POSTED BY Emily E. Ryan
Categories: Emily's Posts

I talked to my best friend the other day who started using my Guilt-Free Bible Reading Plan (GFBRP) a few months ago. I asked how it was going and she said, “It’s going really well, but I have a confession. I haven’t followed it exactly as it’s laid out.”

So now, she’s my ex-best-friend.

Just kidding.

The one thing I remind everyone who uses the GFBRP, or any other plan for that matter, is that a plan is supposed to work for you, not the other way around. So for fun (because this is supposed to be fun, not a meaningless, legalistic ritual!), here are 5 ways to use any Bible reading plan.

bible reading plan

1. The Band Member

You follow the conductor and you follow your music. Perfectly. So when it comes to reading the Bible, of course you’re going to follow your plan exactly as it was written. No deviations, no mistakes. Just a perfectly executed experience that you’ll probably scrapbook about later!

2. The Teacher’s Pet

You believe that if straight A’s are good, then straight 100’s are even better. Friday nights were made for extra credit, and you were born for this Valedictorian thing. So when you see a Bible reading plan, you immediately ask yourself how you can complete it faster and better than everyone else. Double the effort. Half the time. [Booyah!]

3. The Thespian

To follow a reading plan or not to follow a reading plan. That is the question. In your world, it is essential to be in touch with your feelings because your feelings drive your actions. You are a master at evaluating the moment and then acting accordingly. Therefore, when you see a Bible reading plan, you take it as something that must be interpreted, and your interpretation may vary from someone else’s. Take heed, dear dramatic friend. As long as you are making significant progress, it matters not if your progress is linear.

4. The Cheerleader

It doesn’t matter how far behind you or your friends are in any situation, you are EXCITED! You’re a positive, upbeat light of encouragement to everyone you meet. So for you, there is no following a Bible reading plan, there is only LEADING one! You recruit everyone you know to read the Bible with you and you’re the first one to cheer them on when they get off track. After all, if anyone can make a group of people excited about reading Leviticus, it’s you! (“Gimme an L!”…)

5. The Graduate

You have a lot of amazing qualities, but let’s be honest, academics just aren’t your thing. You know exactly how many days until graduation and you know exactly how much (and how little) is required of you to get there. So you’ll do what’s required, but nothing more. So when someone gives you a Bible reading plan, you’re going to count your credits first. Did you read the Song of Solomon on a dare in junior high? It counts! Cross it off! Did you once read Jude because it’s only one chapter long? Check! See, there? You’re closer to your goal than you thought!

Okay, now it’s time to hear from you! When it comes to following a Bible reading plan, in which category do you see yourself? (Full disclosure, I’ve been in every category at one time or another!)

And if you don’t see yourself in any of the above categories, there’s one more I debated about mentioning, and that’s The Dropout. You’re great at starting! It’s just the finishing you struggle with! Can I put on my Cheerleader hat and encourage you to give it a go one more time? In fact, the plan I created was written specifically for people like you (like US!) You don’t have to be a “dropout” forever! This could be the time that you not only START reading the whole Bible, you FINISH it as well!

And I’ll be the first one to celebrate with you!

In which category do you see yourself?


Emily E. Ryan is the Executive Editor of Priority Ministries and the author of three books including Guilt-Free Quiet Times and Who Has Your Heart? Connect with Emily on Facebook and Twitter.



One thought on “5 ways to use ANY Bible reading plan

    katiecole@teamjapan.org' Katie Cole says:

    Thanks for this post! I would be a Band Member in the categories you describe, although parts of all of them fit. I like to “commit” to a reading plan because with the Lord’s help I tend to follow through then. This year I’m reading through the Bible again, only this time I’m doing it chronologically (got Job out of the way early!!). It’s been several years since I’ve done this and I’m already thankful this is my plan for 2015.

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