Others have written helpful material for the public reading of God’s Word in a church service. (I included links to some good ones at the end of this post.) But here is what we came up with so we can hand something short and instructive for those serving in this ministry at our church.
The Public Reading of Scripture
Thank you for your willingness to serve the Lord in the ministry of public Scripture reading at Victory Baptist Church. The Bible is clear that this is an essential component of our worship together (1 Tim 4:13). Although the text for each week is somehow relevant to the sermon, the primary purpose of reading it is to glorify God. This is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God. Here are a few suggestions to better equip you for this important task.
Practice. Read the passage through several times in advance to be sure you understand the passage and know how to pronounce the words. The better you understand the passage, the better you can meaningfully express it as you read aloud. We ask that you read from the King James Version.
Prayer. Ask the Lord for the Spirit’s working to illumine your understanding of Scripture so that you can express it faithfully and meaningfully. Ask Him to impact you so He can use you to impact others.
Dress. Please wear dress slacks and a collared shirt. Avoid clothing with slogans or distracting logos. Our goal is to keep the focus on God’s Word so we want, as much as possible, to remove any obstacle to that. A more formal style seems best to accomplish that goal.
Comments. Announce your text before reading. No other introduction is necessary. The welcome has already been extended. The sermon is still to follow.
Medium. Decide if you would rather read from the screen at the back or from your Bible. The advantage of reading off the screen is that it allows you to look up and project towards the congregation. But you may find it easier to follow along reading from your own Bible.
Pacing. Pay attention to punctuation. Pause at periods. Don’t rush either. We’ve allotted time for this in our order of service.
Read naturally and with expression. But don’t be overly expressive. Don’t be boring, but don’t be eccentric. Just do your best!
For Further Reading:
Image Credit: Arron Burden on Unsplash