How do we get people to read the Bible?

In “Thank you for Being Late,” author Thomas Friedman declares that 2007 was a hugely pivotal year for mankind. Why? The invention of the iPhone and all that it led to.

Friedman might be a little dramatic in that observation, but he is probably not far off. Smartphones have completely changed how most modern people find and access data, communicate with others, and spend their time.

One of the most noticeable changes caused by smartphones is how and why people read. On a recent two-hour flight, I got up to survey the passengers. Of the 138 people on the plane, I was the only one reading a paper book. A few others seemed to be playing games or reading books on electronic devices, but most of the people appeared to be watching videos or doing some kind of social media on their tablets or smartphones.

When people read on their smartphones, they tend to read in short bursts, skim headlines, and scan vast amounts of data. Their primary goal is to be entertained and be informed of what is going on at that point in time.

It is getting harder and harder for people to read long passages and understand what they are reading. If that is true, how should we be teaching one of the most challenging books to read, the Bible?