If Bible reading is so important, how do you get more people to do it? Good question, right? Well, I have a simple solution that doesn’t cost a dime. And I’m going to reveal it to you right now.
But first, let’s back up. You probably know there’s a lot of evidence that reading the Bible is good for you. In a study of 1,000 churches and described in their book MOVE, researchers Greg L. Hawkins and Cally Parkinson found that “Bible reflection” is the single most important factor in producing spiritual growth. Good to know.
Because of that, Christian publishers and ministries are spending tons of money trying to corner the market on Bible engagement. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be working all that well. Most people still don’t read their Bibles on a regular basis. But like I said, I have a simple solution for that.
It’s called “Bible influencers,” that is, one person influencing one other person to read the Bible. I already know what you’re thinking, “Too simplistic. Too stupid. Next.” Maybe so, but let me ask you something: What got you started reading the Bible, a program, a product or a person? No doubt the first two were part of your experience, but without the third, a Bible influencer, it wouldn’t have stuck. That’s why I’m convinced that encouraging existing Bible readers to become Bible influencers is the simplest yet most overlooked Bible engagement strategy in the church today.
Ironically, the corporate world would say a hearty Amen! In their best-selling book, Creating Customer Evangelists, authors Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell explain how to convert already loyal customers into influential and enthusiastic evangelists. Their year-long research project led to a breakthrough framework for developing evangelism marketing strategies and programs. They contend that when customers are truly thrilled about their experience with a product or service, they can become outspoken evangelists. They go on to show how a group of satisfied believers can be converted into a potent marketing force to grow a universe of customers. So if it works for widgets, why not for the Bible?
One of the most significant Bible influencers in my life was my father, Roland E. Kuniholm. When I was a kid, he would go to an unused bathroom in the basement for his morning quiet time before anyone was awake. I never saw him there but I knew he did because he created a makeshift desktop covering the sink and taped a Bible verse to the mirror, “Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9 KJV). Throughout his life Dad began nearly every day with Bible reading and prayer using a guide called Encounter with God. He died in October 2018 and when I was sorting through his things, I found his open Bible beside his chair with underlining in the next reading. Dad finished his life “one day ahead.” That’s a Bible influencer who finished well.
So if you love God’s Word, why not look for ways to become a Bible influencer. You may not singlehandedly cause a worldwide Bible reading revival, but I guarantee you will change the lives of people around you. That’s what my father did, and I’ll be forever grateful.