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Why Don't They Read?

For those of us in the ministry of words, this can be a little frustrating.

Talking with a pastor friend the other day, our conversation came around to the spiritual lives of the people in his church. These are wonderful, decent people, and my friend is a true shepherd, ministering by the Word, prayer, and personal example to encourage his flock to live closer to Jesus day by day.

I wasn't surprised when he reported that only a very small percentage of the members of his church read their Bibles regularly. In fact, they don't read much of anything. This is not atypical of Christians I have known. Many Christians read their Bibles, at least some. But very few of them read much more than that. For those of us in the ministry of words, this can be a little frustrating.

But why don't they read? Reading takes time, I know; and it demands a measure of concentration that many people don't possess - at least, not for the task of reading. The challenge to writers is to entice people to change the way they use their time and to engage the hard work of learning through reading.

I sometimes feel like we need to launch a Christian literacy campaign. I mean "we" - you and I. You're reading this column, hopefully because you find some value in the undertaking. I'm writing it because I think what I'm writing matters. I'm persuaded of the importance of what I'm writing, and you are (at least) willing to be persuaded. How can you and I work together to persuade others to "take up and read" - not only their Bibles, but other timely and important Christian writing?

I'm open to suggestions. Write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your ideas - no matter how "out there" - concerning how we can encourage our fellow Christians to give more time and attention to the important work of reading. We'll publish a brochure or a pamphlet incorporating the best suggestions - we'll even give you proper credit - and then we'll have a tool we can all use to promote more reading among the Christians we know. We'll set some goals, develop some strategies, and mark our progress right here on this website, in this column.

So what do you say? Let's have a go at this, shall we? Let us note that today, November 19, 2010, marked the beginning of the Christian Literacy Campaign of The Fellowship of Ailbe. And let's pray that God will honor our efforts and bless His people accordingly.

T. M. Moore

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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