Bible Reader Job Description

Why does this matter?

God has revealed himself in his word. We can know what he is like. We can learn how to serve him and love him by heeding his words. Hearing from the Bible is a vital part of growing in a relationship with God and is a central part of our church gathering.

What is Involved?

The aim of this role is to read the allocated Bible passage clearly and audibly for the congregation.


  • Look up the Bible Reference in Elvanto (see the run sheet for your Sunday). (The specific Bible reference is normally added in by Wednesday. If it is not there by then, contact the office. No need to contact the preacher yourself.) 
  • Unless specified otherwise the reading is from the NIV 2011. This is the version of the NIV on Bible Gateway. Please note that there have been several revisions of the NIV. Your hardcopy NIV or phone app NIV might be a different version.
  • Make time before Sunday to read the passage through a few times. Identify any tricky words to pronounce. Identify topic and scene changes so that you pause at appropriate points and put emphasis in the right places. Likewise, identify any direct speech or changes in tone. 
  • Identify the small pauses (comma) and big pauses (full stops) and bigger pauses (new paragraph). Read slightly slower than you would in a small group. 

On the day:

  • Arrive by 10:10am so you are in time for the group prayer at 10:15am.
  • Know when you are on so there isn’t a gap while we wait for you to walk up the front. If you read straight after a song it is your job to be there in time to tell people to sit down. 
  • Come up the front to the microphone before speaking and face us before speaking.
    • Introduce yourself,
      announce the Bible passage
      give the page number.
      Pause while we find the passage.
      Give the page number.
      The passage.
      Start reading.

    • Example: “Hello my name is Fred, our Bible Reading this morning is Mark 1:14-18, you can find it on page 721”. <pause> ” page 711. Mark 1:14-18″. 
  • Read it.
  • Sit down.

What you don’t need to do:  

  • No need to announce the Bible version.
  • No need to tell us its the “Old Testament reading” or “New Testament reading”. This will confuse newcomers who don’t know what those things are, and old-timers will work it out themselves. The preacher will make it clear if it is important.
  • Don’t add to the text. Let it speak for itself. Unless the preacher or anchor asks you to do so there is no need to give context “this happened just before David was anointed king”. We don’t need any formulas like “Thus says the Lord” or “This is the word of the Lord” that may suggest some kind of secret liturgical response only known by an inner circle.
  • Make eye contact at the start and finish, but no need to look up during the reading. Focus on the text.
  • If you stumble over a word, no need to apologize or restart, just keep going. Pause to compose yourself if necessary and maybe read a little slower.

Multi-Week Service Schedule | Runsheet | Who is the coordinator?

What if I can’t serve in my rostered role on a particular Sunday?

The Platform Co-ordinator appointed for that Sunday deals with dropouts. So if you can’t make it yourself please don’t organise your own replacement. Just decline in Elvanto and the Co-ordinator will know. 

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