Example of Corporate Scripture Reading
Here is an example of corporate Scripture Reading at Crystal Park Baptist Church Benoni. How does your church do the corporate reading of Scripture? If you have a recorded example online please drop us a email so we can learn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Guidelines for Corporate Scripture Reading
The public reading of Scripture is at the heart of our corporate worship. A well prepared and delivered reading conveys our conviction that the Bible is authoritative, interesting and relevant, and creates expectation that God will speak to us.
- If you are unable to fulfil your duty please give your team leader sufficient notice.
- Read and re-read the passage for understanding. Read the bit before and after the passage for context. Think about the genre (poetry, narration, law)? Who is speaking (God, a prophet, Paul)? Who is the audience (Israel, a crowd, a church)? How does the author want to affect his audience (trust, repent, shock)?
- Convey meaning by adding feeling. It is possible to overdo this and end up with a dramatic reading drawing attention to yourself not God’s Word. So be careful.
- You can use volume, speed and tone to vary your reading. Increase volume for anger, surprise, disgust, judgment, or warning. Decrease volume for suspense or fear. Speed can emphasize excitement, or urgency. Decrease tone for sadness or disappointment.
- Pauses help listeners make sense of blocks of thought, group ideas and introduce a new idea. It is hard to over emphasize the importance of pauses. Mark them in your Bible if that helps.
- In public reading you need to exaggerate pronunciation a little. Hard consonants like B, G, D, K, P and T can get lost without a bit of extra emphasis.
- If your passage has difficult names make sure you know how to pronounce them. Sound confident when you read them. Never smile or joke when reading.
- Please arrive no later than 8.15am for the 8:30am service or 10:15 for the 10:30am service.
- Inform the service coordinator and worship leader that you are present when you arrive.
Before the Service
- Be seated when the bell rings 5mins before each service.
- Be seated in such a way as to minimise distraction when you come up.
- Anticipate coming up immediately when the Scripture Reading slide goes up.
- You may use the reading Bible (large print Christian Standard Bible) located on the lectern.
- Prepare your heart to lead the assembly in corporate reading before God.
Before the Reading
- Do not tamper with the lectern.
- Always use the mic.
- Do not test the mic by blowing into it.
- Do not put your hands into your pockets.
- Make sure you make eye contact with the congregation.
- Always use the version of the Bible that will be preached from. Our default is the CSB.
- Give the Bible reference, “Today’s reading is James chapter 5, verses 1-12.” Repeat it.
- Allow a long enough pause for everyone to find the passage.
- Ask the congregation to, “Please stand in honor of God’s Word.”
- When reading open your mouth wide. Imagine yourself speaking without a microphone.
- Read the Word clearly observing commas, full-stops, question marks, exclamation marks.
After the Reading
- Say, “This is God’s Word,” and ask them to, “Please take a seat.”
- Put the mic and the reading Bible on the small table in front of the piano when finished.
How does Corporate Scripture Feel?
- To some extent, the mood of the reading should match the mood of the passage without dramatizing the reading.
Team Leader and Team