Trouble Being Consistent with Bible Study? Create a Bible Study Routine

Having a bible study routine can help you stay consistent with your time in scripture.

You know that spending time in God’s word is important and you want to, but you’re struggling to be consistent with it. You can’t seem to commit to every day being in the Bible, or you start and then you fall off the wagon for whatever reason.

It just doesn’t seem to work for you. Today I want to encourage you to begin to establish a daily Bible study routine so that you can be consistent and grow closer to God through reading his word. 

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Did you just kind of cringe a little bit when I said establishing a bible study routine? You know you need to have some kind of routine in place to be consistent with your time in God’s word, but it’s so hard.  You try things that don’t work, or you just are so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start.

Today I’m going to walk you through how I have been able to create a consistent Bible study routine and also how I help my coaching clients do the same.  I promise that it’s easy to create this routine in a way that works for you, for your current season of life and however much time you have or don’t have.

It’s possible to create something that you can stick to.  At the end of the post, I will share a little bonus tip that’s the super secret thing I keep in my back pocket for times when I have no time to be in God’s word. 

Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #1: Don’t Should Over Your Bible Study

The first tip for creating a consistent Bible study routine is to stop shoulding yourself.  Stop telling yourself that you should be getting up at four o’clock in the morning to spend time in scripture. That you should be studying and reading for two hours a day.

You should have finished your Bible reading plan three months ago in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, or whatever.  We tell ourselves so many things about our time with God,  prayer, growing our faith, and spending time in God’s Word. Usually, we’re just making stuff up!

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you should get up at six o’clock or four o’clock in the morning, or that you should spend eight hours a day doing whatever. It just says to spend time in the word. That’s it. No qualifiers and no extra requirements.

If God is not putting all of these specific things on you, why are you putting them on yourself? It’s keeping you from being consistent because you’re telling yourself that you should do all of these things without actually taking the time to see if they are going to work for you.

If they are a good fit for your current season in life, for the amount of time that you have or don’t have, or for the way that you were made to connect with God.   

Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #2: Evaluate Your Time

The next thing that you want to do is evaluate your time because the only way that you can set a realistic goal or establish a realistic routine is if you take into consideration your actual life.  It’s really difficult to take someone else’s routine or plan and make it work for you because your life is not the same as their life.

And you know what, your life today might not be the same life you have next week. You’ve got to be able to look at your time, schedule, and responsibilities to figure out a plan that will work for you long-term.  Consider how much time can you spend in the word consistently instead of how much time would you like to spend, think you should spend, or how much time you see other people spending. 

If you are a person who really likes to go deep and spend an extended period in the word, ask yourself if there is some point in your week where you have one block of longer time. You may not be able to  do an hour every single day, but maybe you could do an hour once a week.

The key here is to keep it flexible. Don’t box yourself into something so rigid and strict that there’s no room to be flexible as your life ebbs and flows, things change, and you have more time or less time. And don’t be afraid to change a plan or toss it out completely. 

Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #3: Choose Your Commitment

Once you’ve evaluated your time, you need to decide what you can commit to based on what you have going on in your life. If you are up several times a night because you’ve got a small person who hasn’t figured out how wonderful it is to get a full night’s sleep, then maybe you don’t commit to a 4:00 AM bible study time.

Maybe your time’s going to be during nap time or lunchtime. Your time could be on your commute to work because that’s when you have some alone time. Whatever you come up with, you need to protect that time. Treat it like an appointment and protect it as much as you can, but still be flexible.

Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #4: Find a Plan

Once you’ve committed to what you can do and how much time you have, choose a plan to follow. It’s really hard, especially when you’re getting started or when you’re trying to build momentum to just wing it. It’s not going to get you very far. You need a plan.

If you don’t have one, Google and Pinterest are your friends. Just type in “free bible plan” and you will have a plethora of things that you can choose from. Ask someone at church if there’s a plan you can follow. 

A few years ago, my pastor challenged us to read through the whole Bible in a year or three, depending on how slow or fast we wanted it to go. It was a great way for me to read the whole bible with my boys. Your plan doesn’t have to be to read the entire bible, if you just want to read one book or part of a book find a plan for that as well. 

Having a plan before you get started reduces decision fatigue. You want to make sure that you are making as few decisions as possible when it comes to the Bible study routine. Try to set yourself up to wake up, sit down, and go at whatever time of day you committed to. 

You don’t want to waste time with those choices because you’ll be so exhausted from getting ready and deciding what to do that your brain will have nothing left for actually studying.

Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #5: Find Accountability

Once you have your plan and you know what your time’s going to be, find some kind of accountability and support. Choose a girlfriend to check in with every single day when you’ve done your time and she’s going to do the same.  You can hold each other accountable for sticking to whatever plan you’ve agreed to. A coach is a great way to find accountability.

I do it with clients all of the time when we are working on creating spiritual growth plans. Part of what I do is hold them accountable. I check in with them to see if they are sticking to their plans and if not we talk about what might need to change.

Don’t forget to celebrate your progress. When you hit three days in a row, treat yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but maybe have an extra piece of chocolate or read an extra 10 pages in your book. As you are making progress and being more consistent, celebrate those wins because it’s going to motivate you to keep going. 

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Creating a Bible Study Routine Tip #6: When You Fall off the Wagon

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, that’s all nice and good, but what happens when I fall off the wagon? First, just expect that you’re going to fall off the wagon and that sometimes it might run you over. It’s okay, that’s life. You’re not going to do anything perfectly.

You are not after perfection here, you are after progress. So if you fall off the wagon, just start back where you left off. That’s part of the reason you have a plan. If you’re working your plan and you fall off the wagon on day 12 the next time that you pick it back up, just start on 13. It’s all right. Keep going.

Get comfortable with the fact that you need to be gracious with yourself throughout this process. Adjust your expectations. Lean into your community. If you find that you’re in a season where you’re constantly not able to maintain your routine, consider a season of rest.

Maybe what you need is to rest because you’ve been sick for a long time or there’s a lot of stress going on. You don’t have to go ham all of the time with the word of God. It’s okay to stop, take a rest, get your strength back, clear your mind, and then jump back in where you left off.

A Sample Bible Study Routine

You have a lot of theory about how to figure out your plan and your routine, I wanted to give you some specifics before wrapping up this post. I’m going to list out some things that you can include in your Bible study routine but hear me: I am not telling you to do every single one of these things every single day. I’m just giving you suggestions on things that you can do as part of your time. 

Prayer

Start with a prayer for a desire to dig into the word. I do this a lot of times. I confess to God that I’m tired and don’t want to be there, open the word, or study. I ask him to help my heart and my mind to get focused. 

Praise and Worship

Have some time when you just listen to praise music or worship music to help focus your mind and heart on God. It’s also something that you can do with other people in your house. I have lots of memories growing up of my mom, singing and praising and worshiping while she was cleaning up. I just watched her as a kid. If I’m in the car by myself, I will absolutely take a praise break. I’m all by myself. I can listen to what I want to listen to and have a great time with God. 

Scripture

Next is bible intake of some kind: reading, studying, or memorizing verses.  Journaling is something that can enhance your bible intake. You can take notes, to keep track of any questions that you have as you’re studying, or take some time to share your heart with God and share your prayers in your journal

Other Resources

Commentaries are a great thing to have as part of your routine. They can provide a different perspective or ideas about things in scripture. I do want to encourage you to do your own work first before turning to a commentary. You can do it, I promise. You can dig into the word of God yourself. You are a smart and capable woman made in God’s image. God does not make dummies. You can do it. 

Prayer

Mediation and prayer are great things to include in your routine. Having a time of gratitude when you’re thinking through all the things that you’re grateful for also pairs well with journaling. Conclude with prayer requests and intercessory, personal petitions and whatever’s on your heart that you want to share with God. 

Creating a Bible Study Routine Bonus Tip: Have a MVP

So I promised at the beginning of this article to share a super secret tip for a bible study routine. This is what I like to call a minimum viable plan. When you have no time at all you can fall back on this plan and still have time to spend with God. 

It only takes one minute. Find one verse to read and then say a quick prayer based on that verse. That it! Maybe put that verse on a Post-it note or an index card and keep it with you throughout the day to read over and meditate on. Whatever comes to mind pause and pray about it during your day. 

If you’re probably thinking that one minute is not enough– it’s better than no minutes. If you’re currently doing nothing, one minute is going to be an improvement. Here’s the thing, when you take this minimum viable plan and put it into action, one minute often turns into two or three minutes.

Before you know it you’ve spent five minutes in the word and prayer. You’ll also have something to meditate on for the rest of the day. This is awesome because there may be seasons in your life where five minutes is all you have, and that’s okay because God is not watching a clock keeping track of how much time you’re spending with him.

He’s not concerned with the quantity of the time. You can have quality time with God in the little pockets of your day and the little stolen moments here or there if that is the way that your life is working. The great thing about this minimum viable plan is that you can expand it when you have more time. 

If your goal is to spend some time in scripture and some time in prayer, keep adding to it as you have more time. With 10 minutes you can spend five minutes in scripture and five minutes in prayer, and then you can double that when you have 20 minutes. It can grow as you grow and add things in as you have more time. 

Don’t be afraid to mix it up from time to time and do what works for you. You’ll be able to find a routine that you can actually stick to because you will have taken the time to consider what your season of life is, what you have that’s available time-wise to you, what your resources are, and you’ll be able to figure out how you best connect with God. When you do that, it’s amazing because the consistency just flows from there. 

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Adding a bible study routine could be just the thing you need to dive deep into God’s word on a regular basis.



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