Why read together?

Passion for Evangelism Book Club

10 CITY OF GIRLS Book Club Questions + Your Reading Guide

80% of New Year resolutions will be abandoned by February

Every year more than 50% of people make New Year’s resolutions and that includes to read more books. Yet almost every study tells us that around 80% of these resolutions will be abandoned by February.

Reading is hard

Many of us we will have started a new Bible reading plan or enthusiastically added to our TBR list of books. For others we’ll have downloaded even more titles to listen to on audible whilst enjoying a walk.

We know that reading books helps us grow as disciples. We are convinced that the Word of God is sweet to the taste, sweeter than honey. And yet It is so easy to move from high ambition to failure and relapse within the space of a few weeks. For many of us that honey jar is just too far out of reach.

According to World Book Day statistics, 41% of people in the UK spend less than an hour a week reading. So how do we read more and grow in knowledge and wisdom this year?

41% of people in the UK spend less than an hour a week reading

World Book day statistics 2021

We know that reading books helps us grow as disciples. We are convinced that the Word of God is sweet to the taste, sweeter than honey. And yet It is so easy to move from high ambition to failure and relapse within the space of a few weeks.

How and why, we read matters

Passion for Evangelism is a network of female evangelists who want to grow in communicating the good news of Jesus Christ. In PfE we believe how we read matters. We want to be women that are learning and growing and so we commit to read, discuss and discover together.

We run a regular book club and create a space to meet the author for a time of Q&A. But before we look at how we do this, we need to look at why we read. The character of C.S. Lewis says this line in William Nicholson’s play, Shadowlands

We read to know we are not alone

CS Lewis, Shadowlands

We can see this is true in book sales throughout the pandemic. The year’s bestsellers show book buyers seeking out comfort, laughter, escapism, familiarity, and a sense of community. But what if how we read showed us that we’re not alone?

But what if how we read showed us that we’re not alone?

Communal reading was not only popular in Jesus day it was essential. Brian Wright says this

“Communal reading protects the truth, unites a community, shapes our faith and aids our discipleship and evangelism. Jesus, Paul, and the earliest Christian communities all read together… contemporary Christians might benefit greatly from resuming this practice”

Brian Wright, Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus: A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices

This is exactly what we’re doing in PfE. Over the last two years we’ve read 6 books and met 5 of the authors from How to talk about Jesus by Sam Chan to Why can’t we be friends by Aimee Byrd. Approximately 300 women have taken part in these Book Clubs and have really appreciated reading together.

This term we are reading Forty Women – unseen women of the Bible from Eden to Easter by Ros Clarke, IVP. This book shows us how these women’s stories cast fresh light on the Bible in unexpected ways. Their shared humanity reminds us of the wonderful truths and promises of God’s word to His people.

Read, discuss, discover together

What happens at the Book Club?

Read together

We have an easy to follow reading plan, which starts on February 28th. This will motivate you to keep reading alongside others finishing around Easter time. Once you sign up, you’ll be emailed the reading plan. Sarah, one of our Book Club regulars said this “It motivated me to actually finish a book for the first time in years”

Discuss together

We’re delighted that we can meet the author and have an opportunity to ask Ros questions and discuss together. This will happen online, 7.30pm UK time, 24th March 2022.

Discover together

Our friendly App will enable you to meet others in the Book Club. Each week we’ll think through the themes and ideas in the book. And we’ll discuss questions from the end of each chapter. Tasmin said “There is a sense of gentle accountability. The shared learning experience is really helpful”.

So how about you, will you come and meet the hidden voices in the Bible’s story.? We’ll read about these women of the Bible and how their seemingly ordinary lives connect with an extraordinary God. Sign up to our Book Club here. See the difference it makes to read, discuss, discover together.

Published by Nay Dawson

Hello and thank you for reading my blog. I'm married to Jon and live in Southampton with our two girls. I work with IFES Europe as their Regional Training Co-ordinator, training staff and students across Europe. In 2019 I set up Passion for Evangelism a network of creative, public female speakers. I'm a Trustee for the Cowrie Scholarship Foundation raising essential funds for disadvantaged Black British Students. I'm also a Trustee for Friends International helping welcome International students to the UK. In response to the war in Ukraine I helped set up Ukraine Connect matching refugees and hosts across Europe

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