10 Ways to Increase your Bible Engagement in 2021
New Year’s is the time for resolutions and reflections—often giving us a much-needed chance to think about what we’d like to change or improve in the New Year. While many people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or eat healthier in an effort to see real change in their life, a resolution to increase your Bible engagement and read your Bible more in 2021 can change your spiritual life for the better in 2021! If you’re interested in reading your Bible more in 2021, we’ve got 10 ways to increase your Bible engagement—that you can start right now.
1. Create space in your house for quiet time.
With COVID-19 keeping everyone at home more, your home may now double as a restaurant for take-out dinners, a school, your workplace, the gym, the hangout spot for your kids’ to play Minecraft over Zoom together and more! It can be difficult to find a dedicated space for a quiet time. However, choosing one particular place in your home—whether it’s your favorite armchair or the kitchen table—to do your quiet time and Bible reading each day can help your brain associate that space with quiet time. It may help you quiet your heart and get ready for study just by sitting down in that space! Having a particular space can also help you create a stronger routine of reading your Bible daily.
2. Create space in your schedule for quiet time.
Along with space in your home, you also need space in your schedule for a quiet time. So often, we schedule everything else—doctors appointments, trips to the grocery store, playdates for the kids, time to pick up dinner, soccer practices and so on—while assuming that Bible reading will just happen. One of the easiest ways to increase your commitment to a daily quiet time and increase your Bible engagement is simply to schedule it on your calendar. You may have time in the mornings before everyone else wakes up, during your lunch break, or in the evening when your kids are busy with their own activities. However much time you have is enough—the most important thing is actually scheduling it on the calendar and avoiding any other commitments during that time.
3. Follow a Bible reading plan.
Reading the Bible can be overwhelming! Many people simply don’t know where to start…or how much they should be reading…or if it’s okay to skip around…or any number of other questions. One of the best ways to stay committed to reading your Bible more is by following a Bible reading plan. A Bible reading plan will give you small chunks of Scripture to read each day, typically either working through a book of the Bible or exploring a biblical theme or concept. You can find hundreds of good, free Bible reading plans with apps like Youversion or the Bible Project. Of course, diving into a Bible Journey course also makes for a wonderfully rich, in-depth Bible reading plan as well—complete with lectures, onsite videos, quizzes and more to guide you through your lessons and readings and open up the Word of God in new ways.
4. Start small.
If you’re not accustomed to long stretches of studying the Bible, jumping into hours of Bible reading each day will feel overwhelming—and will probably be difficult to stick with for long. Instead, start small, with just 10-15 minutes of study each day. Thankfully, God does not need us to read enormous sections of the Bible to speak to us! His Word can change and transform us even through just a single verse. If you’re studying with Bible Journey, you’ll have the freedom to complete as much or as little of the lessons each day as you can. Bible Journey courses are broken down into bite-size pieces that are easily digestible while still providing plenty of food for thought. Watch a lecture and read a short passage of Scripture, or explore an onsite video and gain some context into the Scripture passage you’ve been studying.
5. Enroll in an in-depth Bible study or course.
Perhaps you’ve “started small” for many years and are now looking for something more in-depth to take you deeper into Scripture than you’ve been able to do on your own. For this, enrolling in an in-depth Bible study or course can help you uncover more of the Bible. Your local church may have an in-depth course offered, or a nearby or online seminary may offer courses as well. However, these classes may be expensive, or may not fit with your schedule or needs. For that reason, Bible Journey makes a great alternative. With Bible Journey, you’ll get theologically-rich, seminary-led courses that are available online and self-paced. You can complete as much or as little at a time as you want, and study whenever and wherever. Plus, a one-year Bible Journey subscription provides access to our complete course catalog for just $149.99—much less expensive than even just one seminary course.
6. Study the Bible with friends, family or a small group.
Accountability is a great way to increase your Bible engagement. Studying the Bible with others not only makes us more likely to stick with our studies, but also provides a space for us to share and discuss what we’re learning, thus deepening understanding and memory. Bible Journey is designed to be a resource for both individuals and communities. While you can do the courses and studies completely on your own, you’ll get more out of it if you go through it with a friend, a family member or a small group. Perhaps you know someone else who wants to deepen their Bible engagement this year? Maybe your small group needs a new study to go through together, or your family would benefit from a weekly (or daily!) Bible reading time.
7. Carry your Bible with you.
It may not be practical to carry a paper Bible with you at all times (although many people certainly do!) but thankfully, with the technology available to us today, there’s no need to. Get the Bible app on your phone or Kindle and you’ll easily be able to keep Scripture at your fingertips at any time. Instead of scrolling through Facebook while waiting in line at the grocery store or checking email during spare moments, you can simply open your Bible app and read a short chapter of Scripture or a psalm instead. What better way to quiet your mind and heart during boring or stressful waiting moments in your daily life? Keeping the Bible on your phone is a great way to pick it up during the small moments you have available every day. If you have a Bible Journey subscription, the Bible Journey app can keep your courses and lessons available at your fingertips as well. You can jump back in wherever you left off to listen to the next lecture or dive into an onsite video whenever you get a chance.
8. Share what you’re learning.
One of the best ways to deepen understanding and engagement—with any topic, not just the Bible—is to share what you’re learning. Teaching what you’ve learned to someone else, or just sharing what you’re learning is a great way to increase your Bible engagement. Studying the Bible with others in a small group or Bible study is a great way to build this into your Bible reading routine, but you may also choose to meet with a friend over Zoom to discuss what you’ve been studying lately, or call a friend once a week to discuss what you’ve been reading and pray for each other. Not only does it help you have accountability for your study, but it also provides a great way to increase understanding and memory of what you’ve studied.
9. Keep a Bible study journal.
A Bible study journal can also be a great way to deepen understanding and engagement when studying the Bible. In your journal, you can copy down passages that stand out to you, journal about your spiritual walk, record reflections or insights gained while studying, write down prayers (and prayers answered!), list out struggles or ways God is (or has been) working in your life, list out questions for reflection or further study and more. There’s no right or wrong way to keep a Bible study journal. The important thing is that it becomes a written record of your own spiritual journey in a way that helps you reflect (and remember) what God has taught you and become more aware of God’s faithfulness throughout your spiritual walk.
10. Try something new
Sometimes the best way to increase your Bible engagement is simply to freshen up an old routine with something new! If you typically read your Bible, you could try listening to the Bible on audiobook instead. If you often read long sections of Scripture, you may try reading a shorter passage and then writing it out by hand. Memorizing Scripture or listening to sermons or podcasts can also be great ways to explore Scripture in new ways. If you’ve never tried a dedicated Bible course, it can be a great way to dive into Scripture in a way that you never have before. With Bible Journey courses, you’ll get a chance to travel to the Holy Land to see where biblical events actually happened, understand Scripture in new ways through lectures and readings and more.
Ready to increase your Bible engagement in 2021? Start the year off right with a two-week free trial of a Bible Journey Monthly or Annual Pass.