How to read (in public)

Reading the bible out loud when we meet together is not something all of us are comfortable with or able to do. Not many of us are natural readers, who can just pick it up and read everything in the right way. It's important to go through the given reading first and practice. Why important? Because reading out loud well can make a boring piece of writing come alive, and reading badly can make a great piece of writing dead! Here's a few tips to help us:

Ask the right questions of the reading:

  • What does it say? Are there any words that are likely to trip me up when I get to them, for example the name of a person or place? Work out how you're going to say it.
  • Why does it say it? What's actually going on in the piece of writing? If we don't understand it, we won't read it right.
  • How should I say it? When I've got a good feel for the story/letter/whatever, I'll know what bits to emphasise, and the tone of voice of each sentence.

Having done that, remember we don't need to turn into an actor to read it, and overdo everything. And we don't need a special voice (or accent) to read out loud. But a bit of practice will make all the difference.

Someone said, if the reading's done well, the preacher's job is already half done. That's true.