By Peter Mead on Jan 5, 2015
"We should be concerned when there is a lack of motivation for God's Word--both in our own lives and in those we care about."
Three years ago I wrote a post that really polarized readers. I wrote a critique of a famous Bible reading plan. If you want to see that post, click here. As we start a new year, many of us—and many in our churches—will be making the determination to read through the Bible. For some it will be the first time. For many it will be a repeat attempt. Sadly, for many, they will have failed more than they succeeded.
Here’s the bottom line for me: I want people to be reading their Bibles. Whatever else goes into the mix of a personal devotional life, being exposed to the Scriptures is a critical ingredient. (Really it is the “without this, nothing” ingredient in the recipe for relationship with God.) Now it may be that someone you know is not a confident reader for whatever reason ... know the audio options and be ready to promote them. (Even good readers would benefit from listening to the Bible!)
1. Motivation Issues
I know the motivation of reading plans is to help give some structure and sense of progress to readers. That is great. My concern is that the plan can easily become both the focus and a taskmaster. We should be concerned when there is a lack of motivation for God’s Word—both in our own lives and in those we care about. A lack of motivation is not an irrelevant emotional blip that can be overcome by our great diligence, determination and accountability.
2. Motivation Matters
Let’s treat a lack of motivation as a flashing light on the dashboard of our lives. When the oil light flashes, I don’t choose not to drive the car. Equally, I don’t disregard it and press on. I address the issue. It is the same with a lack of motivation for Bible time ... don’t simply obey it or ignore it, but address it.
3. Addressing Motivation
The best way I have found to address this motivation issue is to talk to God about it. Be honest. Out loud. Tell Him what is more attractive to you than His self-revelation. That will typically be convicting and bring us back in humility with brokenness and renewed, albeit weak, hunger to hear from Him.
4. Best Motivation
The best motivation for Bible-reading is a hunger to know God more. Therefore the best motivator for stirring others to read their Bibles is to know God more and be infectious with it. When you are captured by a person, others will want to know Him, too. This is a far cry from language of diligence, duty, discipline and so on.
5. Marital Accountability?
I don’t ask my friends to hold me accountable to pretend to love my wife and listen to her. I may ask them to point out if they see me rationalizing a drift from healthy relationships, though. It is the same with the Bible-reading. I don’t need someone to crack the whip to make me do it, but I am wide open to hearing from a friend that I seem touchy or less excited about God than is normal.
I would love our churches to be filled with people eager to hear God’s heart as they chase Him in His Word. I know that for our churches to be filled with this kind of people, we will need our pulpits filled with this kind of preacher.
Editor's Note: Check out SermonCentral's handpicked preaching bundle resources especially for helping you increase Bible engagement in your church.
Related Preaching Articles
By Joe Hoagland on Aug 2, 2017
See, a Chromebook or even a laptop or desktop only helps you with the content creation side of ministry: preparing sermons, writing lessons, writing blog posts etc. Whereas an iPad Pro can do both sides: content creation as well as presentation.
By Lance Witt on Aug 23, 2017
One of the reasons the word accountability gets a bad rap is because of the way some people have carried out accountability. Holding people accountable is not using your position as a club to embarrass, humiliate, mistreat, belittle or shame people. Our accountability of people should make those on our team better not bitter.
By Brandon Kelley on Jul 31, 2017
If you haven’t grasped this yet, your sermon introduction is vitally important. But what does it look like to knock the introduction out of the park? What are some things to avoid? What are some things to ensure are a part of it? Let’s dive into the 10 commandments of an effective sermon introduction!
By Lance Witt on Aug 17, 2017
A couple of years ago I had the chance to sit down with a former staff member that had served on my team more than a decade ago. We really hadn’t kept in touch very much. At one point during our lunch the conversation turned more serious. And in a moment of candor he said to me “You know, you weren’t very easy to work for.” The truth is, he was right.