Creative Ways to Read Scripture
Do you find it hard to read Scripture on a regular basis? If so, you're not alone. Check out some ideas from our church family and give one a try!
Jim Killam
September 2, 2022

Do you find it hard to engage with Scripture on a regular basis? If so, you’re not alone. Relationships take work, even our relationship with God and his Word. Check out some ideas from our church family and give one a try!

Habits and Practices

First Thing First: “I read Scripture every morning before I open my phone. I need that Word before I see Facebook, Instagram, email, messages, bank accounts. Just like I need to eat something and have that cup of coffee to have physical energy for the day, I need Scripture just as much.” – Nathan Fry, Directory of Contemporary Worship

On the Go: Use your commute time to listen to the Bible, via Bluetooth through a phone app or even the Bible on CD. “Not every trip, and probably not every day, but over six years I listened to the entire Bible, Genesis to Revelation, at least 12 times. Sometimes, if it was a book I was not familiar with, say Jeremiah or Ezekiel, I would listen a couple or three times in a row.  It was life-transforming.” – Paul Geddes, Church Chairman

Memorize: “No one is ever too old to memorize Scripture; it just takes us longer.” – Chuck Rife, Pastor of Caring Ministries

Meditate: Lectio divina—Latin for “divine reading.” Used for centuries, this is a structured, attentive way to slow yourself and meditate on a short passage of Scripture. Read the passage once and note any words or phrases that jump out. Read it again, thinking about those and what God is saying through them. Read the passage a third time, then journal a few thoughts about it. – Meredith Domanico, Director of Student Ministries

Teach: Volunteer to teach the Scriptures – in adult communities, one-to-one discipling, kids ministry, student ministries and more. “Almost nothing forces me to really study my Bible more than having to have something to say in front of a group of people.” – Paul Geddes, Church Chairman

Find a Study Bible: Check out this article for tips from Sue Nelson in The Scroll Resource Center.

Bible Apps and Reading Plans

YouVersion: If you don’t already have a Bible on your phone, this is where to get it. There’s a kids app, too. You can read or listen to Scripture, get reading plans, watch videos and more. The Bible App is on more than 500 million devices in more than 1,800 languages!

The Bible Project: One of the best resources anywhere for gaining a fresh understanding of Scripture. Both the website and the mobile app include videos, reading plans, study guides and more. Highly recommended. – Jim Killam, Shepherding Elder

Dwell Bible Listening app. So many great plans to follow, and you can choose from among 10 different voices. $40 a year, but a wonderful investment. – Erin Blume, Director of Adult Ministries

Chronological Bible. The entire Bible, but with the books arranged in the historical order they happened.  – Steve Ralph, Executive Minister

Immerse. With chapter-and-verse divisions, cross references and footnotes all removed, and the books arranged thematically, you read the Bible as God’s stories with historical and cultural context rather than as a reference manual. It’s especially valuable for reading the Bible in community, like a Life Group. It feels less like a Bible study and more like a book club. – Jim Killam, Shepherding Elder

Daily devotional books & apps 

These short, daily writings and recordings help engage your heart and mind, and steer you to relevant Scripture passages. A few we like:

With God Daily, by Skye Jethani. Billed as “the daily devotional for people who hate daily devotionals.” – Jim Killam, Shepherding Elder

Daily Kairos Journal. “It’s helped me build a structured habit of being in the word and praying consistently.  I’m someone who lives in my head, so I’ve struggled in the past to find a structured way to get my thoughts onto paper, and this simple journal has helped me a lot.” – Aaron Biby, Executive Elder

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.
– Sophia Vale, Communications Coordinator

For more ideas, visit Sue in The Scroll Resource Center.

For parents 

The Jesus Storybook Bible: Bedtime reading for younger kids. The stories are so well-done, they’ll likely make you curious enough to seek the stories in your own Bible. There are many other well-done Bible story books for kids.
– Sophia Vale, Communications Coordinator

God’s Big Story: Kids ministry podcast from The Village Church near Dallas.
– Erin Blume, Director of Adult Ministries

Head to the Scroll

For more ideas and help ordering the right book or Bible for you,
visit Sue in The Scroll Resource Center.

8 a.m.– noon Sundays
4–8:30 p.m. Wednesdays
9 a.m.–1 p.m. Thursdays

Meet Our Contributors

Nathan Fry
Paul Geddes
Pastor Chuck Rife
Meredith Domanico
Jim Killam
Erin Blume
Steve Ralph
Aaron Biby
Sophia Vale
Jim Killam
Jim Killam is a journalist, author, teacher and terminal Cubs fan. He and his wife, Lauren, live in Rockford and work internationally with Wycliffe Bible Translators.


  1. Avatar

    Jim, I’ve found Our Daily Bread is a good fit for me. I got started in it because I was having a struggle with regularity years ago, and noticed that the church offers it for free.

  2. Avatar

    In 1987 Pastor Don Baker encouraged the 1st Free congregation to read through the entire Bible in one year together. I still use that bible for my daily devotions. I have no idea how many times I have read through the entire Bible. It would feel strange not to be in the Word daily.


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