Training Church Lectors (Worship Readers)
Why is Bible Reading professional astrologer for personal chart reading for the Christian Life?From the earliest times of the church,
the reading of Scripture has been an essential part of Christian worship. Throughout the ages certain members of congregations have been called to the important task of reading Scriptures in public worship.
At times during the life of the church, we have lost sight of the centrality of Holy Scripture in our community’s life of faith. During the church reformation of the 16th century, our protestant forebearers reaffirmed the centrality of Scripture in our worship life. Although there may be varied understandings of how our Scripture is authoritative, for protestant life, Scripture remains a central authority for our spiritual lives.
Reading the Scriptures well is an important task. The preachers sermon may miss the mark, our prayers may be weak, and some of our hymns may have impoverished understandings of our faith, but if Scripture is read well, then the gather community will have had the opportunity to hear the Word of God through Scripture.
What is a Reader? Since the beginning of the church, communities have chosen persons for the task of reading Scriptures at worship. Being a reader, however, is more than just fulfilling a task. At its best, Reading is a calling, vocation, and a spiritual discipline. Reading is a commitment to effective sharing of Scipture during our community worship time. It is a commitment to preparing oneself so that one’s reading becomes a vehicle for God’s Word.
Who can be a Reader? Anyone who the community feels has the gifts and commitment to read can be reader. One need not be a shapespeariang actor or a public speaker, in order to be a worship reader. There are many folks in your community that, with preparation and instruction can become faithful worship readers. Do not overlook children as readers. Many children are gifted readers and if their gifts are nurtured some of them will become effective lifetime readers or feel called to other leadership.
Choosing Readers. Most congregations choose their Readers badly. Active members are asked at the last minute to read and occasionally with “arm twisting”. Some congregations will even ask people to read as arrive on Sunday morning! Congregations that engage in this practive end up with readers who feel imposed upon and readers who can not prepare enough to be effective. Ultimately both the readers and the congregation suffer.
Identify a group of persons with gifts for reading and set up a schedule. Give the readers preparation time and instruction. When Readers are supported many change from seeing reading as an obligation and begin to see it as a vocation and blessing. Well chosen and trained Reader can significanty improve the worship life of the community.
Choose as wide a diversity of readers as possible. Have male and female readers; a variety of ages; different ethnic groups, and a variety of socio-economic groups. This will add a richness to worship.
Preparation for Reading. Preparation is essential to good reading. Too often readers have been chosen at the last minute or have not prepared well to read Scripture. This has lead to reader fumbling through readings leaving the congregation bored or confused. It has also lead to a lack confidence in readers, due to not being able to feel competent in reading. Preparation will bear fruit in good readings and more confident readers.