The Pulpit Ministry
It cannot be over-stressed that without the full support of the pulpit, organization-wide success will be difficult.
Some individuals get intimidated because they think the style of sermon has to change to produce a weekly exegesis of consecutive passages of Scripture. If you think about it, even exegetical teaching takes one to other places in the Bible in the course of a sermon. If your current style is more “topical” than “exegetical”, consider the fact that you can follow the reading plan by starting the sermon from a passage within each week’s assigned reading even if covering the topic moves to other places in the Bible. You’re still encouraging the congregation to read through the Bible without having to make material changes to your personal approach.
With a little encouragement and occasional plugs from the pulpit (e.g. “There were so many wonderful things in this week’s reading, weren’t there?”) you’ll create an ever-increasing participation to connect the Word with the weekly message.
You can even effect this approach if you have multiple services that minister to different levels of believers. For instance, you may have a Sunday morning service that is oriented as a “seeker sensitive” service. Even though the sermon may be geared a little more towards the seeker than the mature believer, your lessons can still start from each week’s reading plan; and by making it known each week that a schedule is available, you’re providing them direction as to where to get more information between Sundays. They won’t understand everything at first, but they’ll have already read the main text you’re going to proceed from.
You may have a separate service – on Sunday or mid-week – that caters to mature believers. Those lessons can come from the same schedule and overall will have the benefit of focusing multiple levels of believers in different phases of their personal walk on the same area of study. This facilitates a stronger bond of sharing between these groups as they respond not only to God but to each other from the different applications they experience hearing God speak to them through the same portion of His Word.