Bible reading HAS TO BE a priority in my life; everything suffers when I don’t consistently read my Bible. But as with so many things in life, if I–can I say “we” here? If we don’t have anyone to help keep us accountable, it’s so dang easy to slip…slide…STOP. Today I’m going to let you know, or remind you, there are two different ways for us to read the Bible together and in community–Reading with friends can literally make or break your Bible reading!
Both of these Bible reading with friends options are fantastic options! One is free, one is paid. One is an app on your phone, one is a private community we’ve created here on The Littlest Way. One offers a specific plan each month, one lets you choose from a variety of plans. One lets you digitally highlight and take notes, make graphics and compare translations while the other has a printable Scripture Writing Plan and printable worksheets with reflections questions and prompts.
Online Bible Study Community
Almost one year ago I was in desperate need of some Bible study friends! But, as a busy momma going multiple directions almost nightly, I really didn’t want to commit to going one more place. With a limited budget, I really didn’t want to commit money to expensive books, workbooks, and plans. With a naturally introverted, semi-reclusive temperament, I really didn’t want to commit to awkward, impersonal social interactions–not when I could stay home in my jammies!
And maybe one of the most important aspects to me, I wanted to write the Word I was studying! Now, I will confess I haven’t been the most consistent over the past year, but one of the beautiful things is, I know it’s there, ready and waiting. I also know on those nights where I might miss writing the Word, one of my fellow Online Bible Study friends is, and I figure since we’re the Body of Christ, in some mystical way I’m still participating.
I wish I could find the piece of paper I figured up how many verses and approximately how many words of the Bible we had written up to a certain point last year. I have this terrible habit, especially for someone who also has a habit of acquiring pretty journals and planners, of writing things down on random slips of paper and then promptly losing them. I also have a horrible time remembering anything that has to do with numbers so I couldn’t even guess what those stats were a few months ago, but let me tell you, they were astounding!
So this is how it works. Each month we have a Book of the Bible we study by writing the verses and chapters of that book plus we have daily questions, reflections, or prompts from our worksheets. Sometimes we mix things up, like one month we wrote Psalm 119 and there have been a couple of months where we’ve written verses about a specific topic–like for the month of June we’re writing verses about the mercy of God.
We also have a private Facebook group where we have a weekly scheduled Facebook Live meeting where we discuss what we’re learning. We also have a weekly prayer thread in there and we share our lives with each other–all from the comfort of our home and maybe even in our jammies!
The last week of the month I open enrollment up for the next month so be watching for that!
YouVersion Bible App
Although I’ve had the YouVersion app on my phone for a long time, I’ve never used it until recently. A friend reminded me of it and one day I sat down and started scrolling through it and decided to be adventurous! I committed to reading the Bible in 90 Days! Actually, this may take a little longer because the translation I use doesn’t contain all the Books of the Bible–the Apocrypha. So after I finish the 90-day plan, I’ll read the Apocraphyl Books in my regular Bible.
I’m not a big fan of reading on a device, it’s just not how my brain works, but this is not for study, memory or even comprehension. Using YouVersion to read the Bible in 90 days is strictly to get the Word in me daily.
That being said, the app offers so many bonuses to reading like highlighting–even in various colors if you color code your highlighting. I can type in notes–which I do A LOT of! Here’s how I read the Bible, if I think it, I make a note of it. I think a lot so I have a lot of notes in my YouVersion.
I can also make a pretty graphic out of verses. I can also read and compare the verses in different translations right there in the app. I can also bookmark favorites. I can also choose which translations I want to read. But here’s my favorite part of the app, I can have my quiet time with the Lord, and still be reading with friends!
The YouVersion app allows people to invite friends from their contacts or social media. Once you become friends with someone, you can share your notes with them, you can read through the many Bible Reading Plans together! You can also keep each other accountable by tracking each other’s reading progress and encourage each other by leaving comments or “likes” on your friend’s notes, highlights, images or plan progress reports.
I’m already friends with a few readers here at The Littlest Way and I love seeing what they are reading!
I also get asked frequently how I read the Bible and following along on this app lets you in on my simple style of reading. I share all my notes and highlights with my friends. For example, today one of my notes was, “Ok, all of that was gross!” after reading Leviticus 13.
Friends, I will tell you over and over again one of the best things I did for myself last year was to commit and complete reading the Bible in a Year. (But before I made that commitment, I found a translation I loved to read.)
This year, once I started scrolling through the app, I thought it would be a great summer adventure to commit to reading the Bible in 90 days and as of Day 10, I have no regrets making this adventurous goal–even though I already had to play catch-up one day!
So whether it’s joining our Online Bible Study Community or friending me on YouVersion, reading with friends can give you the gift of accountability and encouragement you just wouldn’t have reading alone. I encourage you to make the commitment to read your Bible daily, and to read with friends. There is nothing better than spending time with God in His Word. This is time well spent that I promise we will never ever regret!