Idea Exchange

Summer is a good time to focus your congregation on good influences by promoting a summer reading challenge. A reading program is versatile; you can sponsor it for kids, adults, or both. It can be used to promote your church library or to direct a spiritual focus on a certain subject. The following guidelines may be helpful as you establish a reading challenge for your church:

  1. Determine what age group may participate.
  2. Set a minimum of books to be read.
  3. Choose the period of time to complete the reading; establish a definite cutoff date.
  4. Determine whether the source of the books will be the church library exclusively or from inside and outside the church library.
  5. Consider providing a small incentive gift.
  6. For an established theme, set a minimum number of books to be read on that theme.
  7. Provide guidelines for the challenge as well as a form to record the books read.

Other suggestions for the reading challenge:

  • Post the top five Christian book suggestions of the pastor(s) and several laypeople in the church.
  • Provide a suggested reading list of books in specific categories—men, women, children, and general.
  • Have parents sign their children’s reading lists.
  • Instruct children to read books at their age level.

While our contest was only for grade-school students, we gave a general challenge for everyone to read. This challenge was accompanied by our pastor, who communicated his love for reading. Fifteen grade-schoolers officially participated; each child read at least fifteen books.Scott Kigar, Associate Pastor
First Baptist Church
Rochester Hills, Michigan