A Bible Reading Pilgrimage in Three Parts

Bible Pilgrimage, Part 1: Reading the Bible with Young Children

Almost 10 years ago (in January, 2012), before Megan and I joined the official Redeemed Reader team, Janie and Emily embarked on an ambitious, read along project: a Bible Reading Challenge.* 48 weeks’ worth, to be exact. As a mom of 3 young children, I jumped at the opportunity. It was my “easy button” for a devotional resource to do with my children, then twin boys aged 4 and a daughter aged 6. I read aloud the commentary and Bible portions, breaking up the week’s reading into several days’ worth. We dabbled in the questions and activities. We didn’t get to every week, but the Lord used our spotty participation to help me lay a foundation in God’s Word and how the story of the Bible connects together.

*We’ve updated the original name to the Bible Pilgrimage; I’ll be using the newer term in this post from now on.

Bible Reading Pilgrimage in Three Parts

Part 2: Stepping It Up with Middle School Children

Fast forward five years to 2017, and I found myself homeschooling our children (then, in 5th and 6th grade). I also inherited Emily’s Managing Editor position here at Redeemed Reader. I was fuming over what to do for the Bible portion of our school year: so many resources were too school-ish or too involved or too fluffy or too crafty or …. I wanted something we could do together in our Morning Time to start our day off in God’s Word, and I wanted something that had real depth without feeling too much like another workbook.

The lightbulb went off when I remembered the Bible Pilgrimage! We had done the young children’s version for ages 4-8, but I remembered that a version for 9-12 year olds also existed. Sure enough, with some digging, I found all the old posts from years earlier. I created a daily reading schedule, based on the weekly assigned reading. I printed off all 48 of the PDFs at the beginning of the school year and stuck them in a 3-pronged folder scrounged from my closet. Ta da!

Bible Reading Pilgrimage Folder
My folder from 4 years ago!

Every school morning for 2 years, we read the day’s Bible portion. On Mondays, I read Janie’s commentary portion. On Fridays, we wrapped up with the questions. The intervening days, I simply had my children narrate (retell) the Bible passage. Each day, we closed with prayer. It was simple, rich, and effective. If we missed a day, we simply doubled up the next day, or spread one week out over two. We barely touched the activities, but I kept wishing we had. I kept a re-positionable post-it tab on the current week, moving it as we finished. We just used the program for our school year, but the original schedule would allow you to complete it in a calendar year.

Bible Reading Pilgrimage tab
Simple solutions work best.

Part 3: The Journey Continues With My Teens

My children are now in high school, all teens. We are revisiting the Bible Pilgrimage again, this time in a more independent format. There is so much depth in this wonderful guide that we still haven’t plumbed it all. Our goal is to cover the Old Testament this school year; I’ll print off the daily reading schedule and give each of my children a copy of the guide itself in their own 3-pronged folder along with a simple journal. On Fridays, we’ll discuss the questions and readings. At Redeemed Reader, we’re updating the original PDFs slightly this year, but my teens’ folders will likely look similar to my original one. After all, we want these to be easy to print at home and use, not just look at on a screen!

The original version: how it all began….

Janie continues to shepherd me through this challenge, and she’s suggested that each of my children write a question for the group as they read and study during the week. What a wonderful way to take the material even further! But there’s plenty of meat in the original questions, even for teens who have grown up in church and reading the Bible at home. I’m looking forward to their thoughts and reflections.

Why do I keep coming back to this simple Bible guide? There are others out there, yes. My teens can certainly read more of the Bible on their own that this might require. The bottom line is this: we need to be in the Word daily. We need to be meditating on God’s Word, reading it, talking about it when we sit and when we lie down, when we’re in the car going to the orthodontist or walking after dinner in the neighborhood. We don’t need a complicated system or new bells and whistles if it means we’re unlikely to follow through.

Along the way, on our pilgrimage, we’ll be reading theology, apologetics, and books about Christian living. This Bible Pilgrimage is like the glue that holds everything in place. If my teens leave home having a sense of how the Bible holds together as the magnificent story of God rescuing his wayward people, an interest in continuing to study and read it, and an understanding of how to apply it, they’ll be well-prepared. No one outgrows the Bible. The more we read it, the more we meditate on God’s Word, the better.

Bible Pilgrimage: Updated for Golden Key Members

We’re very excited to be bringing back this Bible reading product for a new generation of readers, nearly 10 years after it first appeared. We’re dusting it off, editing it, and adding some new extras (Bible memory cards, for one!). Beginning in September, all of our Golden Key members will receive a monthly email with 4 weeks’ worth of readings/commentary for ages 4-8 and for ages 9-12; they will also have access to our new Bible Pilgrimage Hub. Journey with us through the Old Testament this school year (and continue on into the New Testament in late spring/early summer). Our pilgrimage through God’s Word will take us approximately a year. I guarantee it will be a great journey!

Stay tuned: later this week, Janie will be telling us more about the plan and what to expect.

See a sample week here.

Find out more about membership here. (The Bible Pilgrimage is just one of the membership perks; Golden Key members also receive our print literary magazine, The Redeemed Reader Quarterly.)

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Get the information you need to make wise choices about books for your children and teens.

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Betsy Farquhar

Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Southeast.

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  1. Virginia Lee Rogers on August 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Very excited for this!

  2. Carol Johnson on August 27, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    This sounds great. What about for teens?

    • Betsy Farquhar on August 28, 2021 at 7:06 am

      The materials for ages 9-12 age up nicely for young teens. I will be giving the printouts to my own teens (ages 14 and 15) and expecting them to think through the questions a little more than I did when they were 11 and 12. There’s plenty of meat in this!

  3. Corinne on August 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Can this be purchased outright, without a membership? This is exactly what I have been looking for!

    • Betsy Farquhar on August 28, 2021 at 7:08 am

      Not yet! We’re providing it to our members as a perk this year while we go back through and edit/update (members will receive the updated guides each month). We will be adding it as a product to the shop after we go through it with our members.

      • Michelle on September 7, 2021 at 4:38 pm

        I have been considering a membership for a while now. Is it possible to receive a one week sample for a non-member? It may very well be that is what finally has me getting a membership. Thank you.

        • Betsy Farquhar on September 7, 2021 at 5:51 pm

          Definitely! In fact, Janie did just that in her Bible Pilgrimage post here, but I’ve also added it to the post above (she posted the sample after my post above was live). We’d love to have you in membership with us!

  4. christina howell on September 9, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    I am so excited to do this with my children.
    Thank you!

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