So why did it fail so abysmally? I think a few reasons contributed to it:
- Lack of accountability: There was no incentive to do it when I didn't feel like it. I've only been asked about it on the blog once, and managed to evade answering the questions until now.
- A dry, intellectual approach: My goal was really to just get the Bible out of the way so I can say I've done it. It wasn't in pursuit of God or anything like that. Currently I'm reading Wuthering Heights, not because I'm enjoying it, but just so I can tick that one off my list. This approach is fine with novels, but not with the Bible.
- Lack of variety: I've read Genesis a few times now, and I'm aware that there are areas of the Bible I'm less familiar with so it made it quite frustrating.
I've tried to do it before, individually, but again the lack of accountability was still an issue. So now I'm doing it with someone. I meet regularly with a good friend, Duncan, to keep accountable with one another, and we were both lamenting on how rubbish we were at regularly reading the Bible. I think accountability partnerships become useless if you don't try and do something about the problems you've discussed. So we decided that we would follow the WordLive plan and text each other after we'd read it to give each other our responses.
This seems to have solved the problems listed above:
- Accountability: Well, I've already discussed this one. Knowing that someone is waiting for a text from you is a good incentive. Also, if I forget, the text I receive from Duncan will give me a nudge.
- God seeking approach: WordLive has both a prepare and respond section in its reading, ensuring that it isn't a dry, intellectual approach. I also have to consider how it personally applicable to me because Duncan is waiting to find out.
- Variety: WordLive gives a lot of variety. We've covered passages from Acts, Galatians, Psalms and Numbers in the few weeks we've been doing it. They also have pictures, music, explanations of the cultural and social contexts and a summary of the main points of the passage. This prevents it getting dry and boring.
- Do you have an accountability partner? How has this helped you?
- In what ways do you engage with the Bible? Do you listen to it being read, do you follow a plan, do you do more creative things?