This week we sat down with some of our team leads to ask them about their tips for starting a devotional time. As we all know, starting a new habit can be intimidating. While you may be convinced of its importance, it is another thing to take the step of actually doing it. Which is why we all need friends to encourage and inspire us along the way.

Let’s start with Pastor Danny.

What have you found to be the best keys to maintaining a habit of daily spending time in prayer and reading the Bible?

danny400x4001. Go to bed early! I really enjoy walking and praying.

2. Bible Reading Plans are huge for me. I like seeing the progress and following a systematic plan.  Also, I read books on prayer that inspire and encourage me – EM Bounds, Circle Maker, Dutch Sheets, etc.

3. Start with small amounts of time and work up.

I love that! It sounds simple and structured. How about our Kids Team Leads, Chris and Jenni Spedick… what do you guys recommend for developing a devotional time?

1) Find a time and place where you are not distracted. Enjoy something you love while you do your reading. For me that is coffee:) ChrisandJenni

2) I love using Bible Commentaries to help me understand passages. I also have enjoyed doing the Brain Detox by Dr. Caroline Leaf directly after I did my Bible reading.

 3) Find a version of the Bible that is easy for you to understand.
Awesome! I am taking away that you need to tailor make your devotional time to fit your style and passion. Lacey, tell us what your daily time with God looks like?
Lacey1) I LOVE checking things off a list. I don’t think it makes it less spiritual, it just fits with my personality 🙂 I also like seeing how far I’ve come by looking back at what I’ve read.  This was probably the most important thing that got me started reading by Bible consistently. 

2) Another catalyst in my personal devotions was being a part of a small group (either as a leader or a participant) where we would share what God spoke to us out of our personal devotional times. This basically forced me to dig in to the scripture deep enough that something really spoke to me.  Then I had to think that through and chew on it enough that I could share it with a group.  This really took reading my Bible beyond just a check list to something that changed who I was.

That’s beautiful! And with Small Groups launching May 31st, you can easily find a group to start doing devotions with. Kyle, give us your wisdom for getting started with a devotional time.

The biggest issue I’ve had with having some sort of consistency in Bible reading 

Kyleis guilt, and getting behind. There are days where I have missed, and days where I only read part of the plan. So when I have a list of ‘requirements’ (calendar days in a reading plan) and I get behind, I feel like I can never get caught up. And I don’t want to skip anything because I want to read everything! It takes any excitement out of thinking about reading my Bible, and just creates chaos in my mind 🙂 I little insight into my personality, I suppose. 

Since I’ve started working at Olive Tree (Bible software company), I use some of the reading plans built into the app. I really like this because the reading plan days are not associated to a calendar date, rather just the ‘next’ day. This keeps me much more encouraged. 

This also free’s me from the desire I sometimes have to research a little bit more what I am reading if there’s a topic that gets me thinking. I am less tied to a specific schedule, and more free to get the most I can in that reading time. 

Also, I always try to remember that some reading is better than no reading!

Great advice everyone! Thanks for sharing with us.

Lastly, this is Jamie doing the interviewing and my piece of advice would be:

Never give up! Know who you want to be and keep moving forward to that end even if it feels like you are inching along at times.

For me, I want to be someone who seeks God for the rest of my life. If EVERYDAY I learn something new about Him, discover a different aspect to who He is, dig down into a deeper place of trust and vulnerability in my relationship with Him, or find a place of awe and gratitude that I have never known before….I will still need all of eternity to truly know God. That excites me! He is so far beyond me that spending just a little of my time everyday with God opens up my spirit to a greater purpose. It is the best invested time of my whole day.

We hope this has been helpful for you! Also, if you haven’t done so already, you can download the SunCity app on your smart phone and use the Bible reading plan in it.

Happy reading!