Joel Watts suggests that we might need to make laypeople learn some of the more difficult theological terms, and he quotes an Economist study to support his contention.
I would relate his comment to my own suggestion about the different ways of reading scripture. I don’t think we always want to read slowly and in detail. There are those who don’t think rapid reading is valuable. It is, but it can be a problem if you only read fast.
Informally evaluate your own results, and build up an array of approaches to reading and studying. An informal evaluation can involve simply sitting back, closing your eyes, and trying to remember key points of the material you just read. I often ask myself what the key points of each chapter were after reading scripture from one of the reading plans.
Another technique I use is to read in one or another foreign language. I’m not talking about the original languages, which I also like to read, but I can slow my reading down progressively by moving from English to Spanish to French and finally to German. I’m slowest at the last. It’s hardest for me to read German, but having struggled through the text I’ll remember the key points of the chapter(s).
But on the other hand I was discussing reading and understanding scripture with my wife just last night and she was commenting on how her study had progressed over the last few years. One of the elements we agreed on was the need to get acquainted with large portions of scripture–getting an overview. Her study is now bringing her more and more insights about the connections between various parts of scripture. That doesn’t come until you become thoroughly acquainted with many books, not just many verses.
The book Learning and Living Scripture: An Introduction to the Participatory Study Method, which I co-authored with Geoffrey Lentz, devotes an entire chapter to these approaches to reading.