Take the Summer Bible Reading Challenge

Regular Bible reading is one of the cornerstones of hearing God’s word for our lives. It is also a habit that people can struggle with because life gets busy or they get discouraged when they read a passage that is confusing to them; but it doesn’t have to be that way. Like any other activity, it takes practice to develop the skills and habit so it comes more easily. Enter the Summer Bible Reading Challenge.

New: The 30-Day Photo Op

Begins Monday, July 20

Have you been considering the Summer Bible Reading Challenge but aren’t sure what to do? Try the 30-Day Photo Op. For one month, read the verses for each day then take a photo that captures that passage for you. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using the hashtag #IncarnationBible plus the hashtag for the day. This is a great activity for an individual or have your family commit to it together and compare photos at the end of each day. Learn more.

The Goal: Build a Habit of Connecting with God through the Bible

Sunday, June 21 – Sunday, September 20summer bible reading challenge square

The goal of this summer’s Bible Reading Challenge is to encourage the people of Incarnation to build a habit of connecting with God by reading the Bible more regularly. Whether you are new to the habit of reading the Bible or are looking to refresh a practice that is already in place, you can set your own goal for how you will read the Bible more regularly this summer. Discover how God speaks to you through the Word and through the practice of connecting with God on a regular basis.

This challenge is for people of all ages. At the end of the summer, there will be a drawing among the people who have made progress on their goal. One prize will be awarded in each age category: Age 4 – 4th grade | 5th – 12th grade | Adults.

Listen to Pastor Jeanne Hartfield share thoughts on making a specific plan for being successful in reaching your summer Bible reading goal.

Create Your Own Goal

There is no one right way to read the Bible. Each person can have a their own goal it is just a matter of figuring out what would be most helpful for you to connect with God in your life. You might focus your goal on what you want to read from the Bible, how often you want to read the Bible, or for how long you want to read the Bible each day. Maybe your goal is to read the Bible with your spouse, a friend, or your child(ren)/grandchild(ren) on a more regular basis. Here are some hints for setting your goal:

  • You can have the goal be whatever you want it to be, just be specific about what, when, where, how often or for how long and maybe even with whom so you’ll know when you’re accomplishing your goal.
  • Be realistic. Think about incremental improvement. If you’re new to reading the Bible, choose a small goal–something that takes 5 – 15 minutes a day max  what makes sense for your life and schedule and focus the goal on how often you plan to do it (say three days a week) and for how long (one month).
  • At the same time, don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit. If you’ve been reading the Bible for awhile, your goal might be more ambitious and might take you deeper into God’s word.
  • The goal should be reachable during the challenge, but doesn’t have to take the whole time. You can also choose to do multiple smaller goals and spread them across the summer.
  • Get clear on why YOU are doing this. Why is it important to you? Clarity helps motivate us to stick with it in those moments when we’re frustrated or might be tempted to quit.
  • Need help with specific ideas? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Challenge Accepted: Action Steps to Take the Summer Bible Reading Challenge

Are you ready to participate?

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Choose your goal.
  2. Sign up online or in the Incarnation Office beginning Sunday, June 21. (You can start and complete your challenge at any time between June 21 and September 20.)
  3. Complete the Summer Bible Reading Challenge Goal sheet to be posted on the wall in the hallway between the Gathering Space and the Atrium near the Preschool Office window. (Publicly sharing our goals is helpful both for our own follow through and to encourage others. We are in this together!) Print one out here or pick one up in the Incarnation Office. Drop off completed forms in the Incarnation Office.
  4. Read your Bible!
  5. Notify the Incarnation Office when you have completed a challenge so your sheet can be marked complete and you will be entered in the drawing.
  6. Optional: When you sign up, you can choose to receive a weekly email with reminders, ideas, and celebrations.
  7. Optional: Celebrate the Bright Spots! Do you already have a practice that works for you or in your family? Please share so that others can learn from and be encouraged by your experience. Email Pastor Jeanne Hartfield or join the Facebook Group and share there.

Join in on Facebook & Instagram

fb instaFor encouragement, accountability, and to connect with others doing the challenge, join the Facebook group: Incarnation Summer Bible Reading Challenge 2015. This is a closed group so you can feel free to share.

You can also document your experience on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag: #IncarnationBible.

Some Ideas to Get You Started

For Adults & Teens:

  • Pick a book of the Bible that you are curious about or have never read. Break it up into manageable pieces and read a little each day (or a certain number of days each week).
  • Read through one or all four of the Gospels. Discover what is the same and what is different about each way the story of Jesus is told.
  • Set a goal to read the Bible for 15 minutes each day. Choose a Bible reading plan online or in your Bible to choose what passages to read. Set a timer so you can just focus on the reading. Keep track of how often you’re doing it.
  • Each week, read the Bible texts for the coming Sunday before worship. You’ll find them here.
  • Use a devotional like Disciplines, Solo, or Jesus Calling and be sure to look up the verses for the day’s reflection in your actual Bible.
  • Participate in Walk Through the Bible during June and July.
  • Sign up for the Galatians Bible Study at Incarnation.
  • Complete The 30-Day Photo Op. Each day from July 20 – August 20, read the provided verse and then take a photo that captures what that verse means to you. Post your photo on Instagram or on Facebook using the hashtag #IncarnationBible. Watch for details to come.
  • Download a Bible App (like Bible Gateway) and use the Verse of the Day as a starting point. Read the larger context. Then ask “What does this show me about who God is or what God values?” Write down your answers. At the end of each week, review your responses.
  • For tweens and teens, check out the Action Bible (there are a few copies in the Incarnation Library) and make a plan to read through that.
  • Check out the list for kids because they work with kids of all ages.

For or With Kids:

  • Incorporate reading a story from the SPARK Storybook Bible each night before bed.
  • As a family, pick one story from the SPARK Storybook Bible and act it out. Let the kids direct the action.
  • After reading together, have your kids draw the story or sculpt it out of Playdoh.
  • Google Bible verses that have to do with water (or search it as a keyword at www.biblegateway.com) and then read through some when you are at the pool, lake, beach, or after running through the sprinkler.
  • Google Bible verses that have to do with light when you’re spending time in the sun (or when it’s raining and you wish the sun were shining).
  • Google Bible verses about love. Pick one that you really like and use it to make a card for someone.
  • Read one Psalm each day and encourage kids to write their own letters to God expressing whatever they are feeling that day.
  • Search for Bible Apps for Kids that are appropriate for the devices you have. Many offer activities and reading plans to help your child dig into the Bible.

I accept the Summer Bible Reading Challenge!

Questions about the Summer Bible Reading Challenge? Contact Pastor Jeanne Hartfield by email or at 651-484-7213.