While most people are focused on Christmas right now, The Church Next Door staff is focused on next year. Specifically, we are focused on how we can bless as many people as we possibly can next year, that is, how we can help people grow closer to God as we move into 2022 and beyond. To that end, we have created our 2022 Daily Reading Plan.
2022 Reading Plan
Last year, we followed a plan taken from the book Scripture Storyline. We read the entire Bible during the year with special focus on how the books connected with each other, i.e., how New Testament books quoted Old Testament books and how the overriding grand story God is telling gets revealed and shaped from book to book. It was a great way to look at what I call “the big picture of the Bible”.
This year, we are following a different and simpler plan we have constructed ourselves. This plan has two separate tracks: an Old Testament track and a New Testament track. The Old Testament track has readings every day; there is no day off on this track. The New Testament track has readings every weekday; you read Monday-Friday and rest on the weekend.
These two tracks give us three options for our year. We can read the entire Bible, in which case we will take both tracks. We can read the Old Testament, in which case we will take just the Old Testament track. Or we can read the New Testament, in which case we will take just the New Testament track.
Which option should you take? We don’t know. It depends on what you need this year. Have you never read the entire Bible? Then you may want to follow both tracks. It will mean more reading for you, but by the end of the year you will have completely read the entirety of God’s word. Have you read the entire Bible many times? Then you may want to follow just one track. You will not read the entire Bible that way, but you will focus more on a part of it.
As you make this decision, remember that reading the Bible is not a duty that appeases God. It is a practice by which you experience God and God experiences you, an opportunity to encounter and absorb the heart and mind of God so that you feel and think ever more like Him. Things like guilt and obligation and performance should not be factors here. The only factor should be, “What will bless me most? What will bring me closer to the Father?” Make your choice in that manner and the daily reading plan will be a joy rather than a chore.
A Great Opportunity
It is also important to note that our daily readings will be shorter this year than last year. We’ll only be doing a chapter a day on the New Testament track and three chapters a day on the Old Testament track. That gives us an opportunity to read less for information and more for devotion.
Informational reading is reading that teaches you. When you read for information, you learn something you didn’t know before or refresh your memory on things you have forgotten. You are covering the text fairly quickly, simply asking the question, “What does this say?”
Devotional reading is reading that touches you. When you read for devotion, you are attempting to see truths about God, yourself, and life you have never seen before. You are covering the text slower, looking for the foundational truths below the details of a text. You are asking, “What does this say to me?”
For example, if we read the story of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10 informationally, we will learn that Jesus asked this ruler to do something beyond keeping the Ten Commandments, and he refused. If we didn’t know this before, we will know it after our reading. But if we read that same story devotionally, we will see that the Rich Young Ruler refused Jesus’ instructions because he loved money more than God. Seeing that, we may then identify things we love more than God, and we may realize God is calling us to love Him more.
Both types of reading are important, but devotional reading transforms us much more than informational reading. Since we are reading smaller passages this year, we will have a greater opportunity to read in this devotional way.
How To Get Started
If you are ready to get on one or both of the daily reading plan tracks with us, here’s how you do it.
First, you download the Church Next Door App. Open it and go to the Bible tab. Click that, then click “Plan”. This will open up the daily reading. You can find the current day’s reading at the top and reading it from your own Bible, or you can click it and read it in the app.
If you click the play button, the app will even read it for you. Unfortunately, the two tracks cannot be separated in the app. If you only want the New Testament reading, you will have to let the Old Testament reading play first.
You can also get a pdf copy of the plan on our website. Find it here.
Or you can get a hard copy at the resource center next time you are at services.
There is no right way. There is just the way that is right for you. And we are happy to help you find that way.
So get the plan, pick your track, and start 2022 by reading God’s word with us. We know with the end of 2022 comes around, you will indeed find yourselves closer to Him.