Many theologically conservative churches read less from the Bible during their worship services than do liberal churches that don’t believe in biblical inerrancy.
Let that sink in.
How so? Well, first we’ve separated “the worship” from “the sermon.” By “the worship” we mean songs. And “the sermon” means a 20-minute homily that begins with a few verses of scripture.
So what about the liberal churches? They are preaching better sermons? No, but they read a lot of scripture aloud, congregants and leaders alike. They do so through a lectionary – a book that contains a selection of scripture readings for daily reading.
Of course lectionaries are not the only way to incorporate systematic Scripture readings into church services – I’ve written before about the usefulness of The Worship Sourcebook. Whether your church uses something like the Revised Common Lectionary or not, you can use tools like this during family devotions.
The Revised Common Lectionary is synced with the Church Liturgical Calendar (Christian Year). Moving through each of the three yearly cycles of the Lectionary will help ensure that your children move through the story of the gospel systematically, seeing Jesus not only in the four Gospels but in the Law and prophets, the epistles and the historical and apocalyptic books of the Bible.
In our home, we’re currently on Year A of the Lectionary. During our Monday family devotions, we read through the Lectionary Scripture readings recommended for that previous day’s worship services. Since there are usually four readings each day, all of our children have a chance to read at least one passage aloud, before passing the Bible to the next.
During the course of the year, you’ll read one Gospel in total, along with most of the New Testament and a large chunk of the Old. And remember, this is just one day a week! You still have the other six days to follow your regular family devotional pattern (some seasons and special days of the year have additional readings, such as Holy Week – from Palm Sunday to Easter).
So what are you waiting for? Visit the Revised Common Lectionary online here.