The 2020 GLOBAL YEAR OF THE BIBLE is a relational network of people who wish to encourage a fresh movement of re-engaging with God’s Word at a grassroots level all around our planet. More than 2.4 billion individuals self-identify as followers of Jesus. Many of their globally known leaders have declared 2020 to be the Global Year of the Bible (Bibleyear2020.com).
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has also embraced 2020 as the Year of the Bible, and that team has prepared a reading guide to assist in reading through the Bible in 2020. This year’s guide is a special edition in celebration of the Year of the Bible. The 2020 guide features a new reading plan to coincide with an engaging 7–10-minute daily podcast (TheBibleRecap.com) that summarizes each day’s reading. Many try to read through the Bible but lose momentum. The Bible Recap podcast is created to empower and encourage readers every day!
According to LifeWay research, “more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible.” Anecdotally, I recently heard a professor who taught a foundations class at a Christian university say that there was little difference in Bible knowledge between students with no church background and those who were raised in the church.
William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, once said that America had lost her moral compass. That was in the ’80s. The continual moral shift in America is obvious as we look at the number of non-Biblical values that are not only accepted but are embraced and even celebrated. If the Church is Biblically illiterate, societal values will shape the Church instead of the Church shaping the culture. If we fill our churches with people but fail to fill the people with God’s Word, we will fail to truly make disciples of Jesus.
The Year of the Bible is a recognition that we must turn the tide of Biblical illiteracy and that we must equip the church with tools to “rightly divide the Word of Truth.” Unless believers are reading and studying the Word on their own, they will be shallow in their faith at best. Biblical preaching is essential, but believers who hear the Word preached from the best preachers only once per week (or less) will not have a solid foundation.
Leaders in the church must find ways to challenge and equip people to read and study the Word. Believers need to take their relationship with Jesus seriously enough to become students of the Word. Perhaps if believers truly hide the Word in their hearts, they will be able to answer questions that are being asked by the secular world, and we can begin to see a Biblical moral compass return to the nation.
Whether you read through the Bible in one year or even two, the Year of the Bible challenges us to be consistent in reading and studying God’s Word.