We have a new milestone to celebrate; the total times that one of our Bible Reading Plans has been completed is now at 120,000! Who writes these reading plans and where does her inspiration come from? Meet Grietje Commelin from Freiburg, Germany.
If you have never heard of YouVersion, it is an app that helps you to make Bible reading a daily habit. You can sign up for a reading plan and every day you receive a portion of scripture with a devotional. GlobalRize provides reading plans for YouVersion – which are all written by Grietje.
Grietje, how do you decide on the topics for the reading plans?
‘I have handled a number of basic topics such as ‘Who is God?’, ‘God’s Word’, ‘Who is Jesus?’, and ‘Eternal Life’. It is good to have a number of topics for people who are seekers and want to see what the Bible says about these key questions. A reading plan is then a valuable addition to an article on Biblword.net, to a course, or to a chat conversation, because the Bible has the chance to speak for itself here. Sometimes I get a request to write a reading plan that ties into one of our courses.
Sometimes, I write about topics that speak to me personally, for example because I have read a book about it, or heard a sermon about it. In this way I can pass on the teaching that I have received myself.’
What is the most important goal of a reading plan to you?
‘It is a good challenge to shed light on a topic from different perspectives, also with texts that are not so well known. But our number one goal is to reach people who don’t know much about the Bible and let them see how great God is and how your whole life changes for good as you get to know Him. A plan like ‘Eternal Life’ is very suitable for this. This will be one of the first ones that we translate into other languages.’
What themes are closest to your heart?
‘Themes that touch on the core and can relate to the daily lives of our readers. God is almighty and boundless, but He is also very close by. His Word is complex, it takes effort to understand it; but even a less well-known book such as Haggai includes relevant life lessons if you dig into it. I love to let that come through in a reading plan.’
What is your biggest challenge in writing?
‘It is a big challenge to get down to the core. That forces me to weigh each word. That takes time, and sometimes I cannot say everything that there is to say about a topic. But this way, our reading plans are compact, clear, and easy to read – and we stay close to our goal: to stimulate people to discover the Bible for themselves (instead of my opinion).
A bigger challenge is that I am writing for people who I do not know. I cannot aim for a certain age group, I don’t know how much they already know, or what examples will speak to them. In the long run, it becomes a challenge to keep coming up with new topics. We have quite a few already, and I have to be careful not to repeat myself…’
How are you blessed by writing?
‘If you want to write about something, first you have to think about it yourself. Writing devotionals and reading plans is a good incentive to study a topic in depth. And that is worth all the effort!
Next to that, it gives me satisfaction to be able to use everything that I have received myself in terms of education, training, etc. in order to help other believers or people who are curious about the faith to come further.’