5 Bible Reading Options Designed for Summertime

Summertime is especially hard when it comes to consistency in Bible reading. Kids are out of school. Vacations are taken. Churches typically don’t have any “structured” Bible studies. Small groups frequently take a break. So…what options are there for a Bible study that fits into a summer schedule and can be completed in eight weeks?

5 Bible Reading Options Designed for Summertime

Here are five options I specifically designed to be completed in eight weeks.

NOTE: I first wrote about these five options as part of a podcast episode a couple years ago. If you’re more of a ‘listener,’ here’s the link.

Option #1: Hang Out with One Short Book

Since I wrote an entire book about this concept, you might guess I’m a huge fan of this idea. It is also a perfect plan for summertime. Most books of the Bible can be read – in their entirety – in less than 30 minutes.

Here’s the plan:

  • Choose a short book (some good possibilities: Philippians, Ephesians, Colossians, II Timothy, James, I Peter, or I John).
  • Weeks 1-4 – Read the whole book every day. Same translation. Out loud. Once a week…read in a different translation. (Here are my 4 favorites.)
  • After two weeks, write a one-paragraph summary. Review it at the end of weeks three and four.
  • Week 5 – Write a 2-4 sentence summary of each chapter. One chapter every other day. Read the whole book on the days in between.
  • Weeks 6-7 – Break the book into 10-14 “day-sized” chunks. Slowly read and pray through these, asking God for insight and application. Jot down what you see.
  • Week 8 – Read the whole book every day.

Option #2: Survey Several Short Books

This is somewhat similar to the first one, except you’re simply getting a high-level overview of several books.

Here’s the plan:

  • Choose eight short books.
  • Read one, every day for a week.
  • Jot a one-paragraph summary.
  • Do the second book during Week 2.

Eight books…eight weeks. By the way, this is a fantastic one to do with a few friends! Grab coffee or lunch once a week and discuss the big themes – and the details that stood out – as you’ve each read the same book each day for a week.

Option #3: Survey the “Minor Prophets”

The last 12 books of the Old Testament are largely ignored. (Except Jonah. But most of us ignore the last 25% of his story.) These guys have a lot to say. And nine of the 12 are really short.

Here’s the plan:

  • Take eight of the nine (or lengthen this option to nine weeks)
  • Read one each week, suing the same format I outlined in Option#2.

NOTE: It is super helpful  to get a bit of context when reading the prophets. When was this written? What was going on the in the world? What was happening with Israel? If you have a study Bible, most likely you’ll find a summary at the beginning of the book. If you don’t, I highly recommend the short summaries you’ll find at BibleHub.com. Where to find it on the site isn’t super-intuitive (ugh), so here’s the shortcut for you.

  • Step 1: Copy/Paste this URL: http://biblehub.com/summary/hosea/1.htm
  • Step 2: You can use the arrows on the page to scroll through each book (“1” in the picture below), use the drop-down menu to select the book you want (“2” in the picture below), or you can “double-click” the name of the book in the URL (“3” in the picture below) and replace it with whatever book you want. Don’t change anything else.

Bible Book Summary - BibleHub

Option #4: Soaking in the Psalms

Eight weeks. 150 Psalms. Reading 3-4 each day will leave some “wiggle room” for the days when you come across a long one (Can you say “Psalm 119?”) or simply find one you want to hang out in for the day.

Remember: The Psalms are mostly poetry and song lyrics. I often say this…

Option #5: The “Modified” New Disciple Challenge

In the last tip from my book How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible, I lay out a 4-Month New Disciple Challenge. Even cutting the time-frame in half is very enjoyable and extremely beneficial.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Focus only on Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts (first five books of the New Testament)
  2. Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each for a week.
  3. In between each one, read Acts for a week.

In case you’re wondering, to read through each of these five books once in a week is about 15-20 minutes a day. Matthew and Acts might be five minutes more.

Question: Which option are you going to choose? If you’re doing something else, share your plan below! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I love conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts - even if you don't agree with something I write. But let's all make sure we're polite. I reserve the right to send any mean-spirited, offensive, spammy, or off-topic comments to the cyber-junk-pile.

2 thoughts on “5 Bible Reading Options Designed for Summertime

  1. Keith,

    I’m doing “The Daniel Prayer,” with Anne Graham Lotz She makes reference to Daniel’s Prayer “Prayer that moves Heaven and Changes Nations.” What her intention here is that this may America’s last opportunity to get things turned around.

  2. Thank you for this blog entry. It’s great!

    I like the minor prophets idea and think I’ll do that one. These books really stuck out to me while doing the read through earlier this year. I don’t think I had read them before then.

    Thanks for the idea!

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