Whatever your current Bible reading habits (or lack of them), and whatever your level of knowledge and confidence, Six Steps to Reading Your Bible will help you make progress in getting into your Bible. The course is especially designed for use in small groups, and utilizes a mix of video instruction, fun skits, Bible study, discussion, practical exercises, prayer and home assignments that will help you on the road to establishing a new and more enjoyable Bible reading habit.
- become familiar with the basic shape and nature of the Bible
- be motivated to read the Bible for themselves
- learn how to apply basic reading skills to the Bible
- learn how to apply a Bible passage to their lives
- understand how the whole message of the Bible hangs together and centres on Jesus
- benefit from the encouragement and experience of others, as they work together in learning to read the Bible
- be well on the way to establishing a new habit of regular Bible reading.
"What we are trying to do is say we want our people to know the Scripture — and how will they know the Scriptures other than by reading it? And what’s the best way to read it? I’m convinced that it’s designed to be read in big chunks, out loud, with people getting together."
Cornerstone Church in Kingston, UK, have embarked on 'The Big Read'. The idea is to read one book of the Bible each month, together in small groups.
On the first Sunday of the month, the pastor preaches an overview of the book. Then at the midweek prayer meeting, they read the first few chapters together, leaving the rest for the small groups during the other weeks of the month. They've put together a series of 10 questions to help them reflect on what they're reading.
"So a bigger vision of Bible engagement is not just that more individual Christians will form a Bible reading habit. That’s a critical first step. A bigger vision is that more groups of Christians, of all denominations, will begin reading and living God’s Word together, and as a result, the Church will be renewed and relevant for a new generation."
Reflecting on what he's learned from the E100 programme, SU President Whitney Kuniholm, asks "How can you get 'average Christians' to start and maintain a regular Bible reading habit?"
He suggests seven key elements, 'the essential architecture', to pastors and church leaders:
- Take Spiritual Leadership
- Make it a community experience
- Use habit-formation principles
- Affirm a variety of devotional methods
- Have a flexible format
- Follow a unifying theme
- Offer a follow-up plan…from the beginning
In conclusion, the author observes that: "When people begin reading and applying God’s Word together, a spiritual power is unleashed that can dramatically transform individual lives and entire churches." [more...]
The Seed and the Soil explores the power of the Bible that brings about God’s transforming and liberating purposes, as well as its power as an often oppressively misused text. Characterised by a wide variety of storytelling, this book is accessible to all that read it.
Available: May 2011
The Seed and the Soil is available for pre-order. [more...]
What is 'The Story'? It is both a book and a campaign.
The book is an abridged version of the NIV Bible, arranging the Biblical narrative in chronological order in 31 chapters. Bridging paragraphs with some explanation are included between the selections of Bible text. There are no verse numbers. A few psalms appear in the chapter on David's life, and Proverbs in the chapter on Solomon. Extracts from Paul's letters appear in the chapter of stories from the book of Acts.
As well as the main version of the book designed for adults, there are also versions for teens and for different ages of children (2-5s, 4-8s, 9-12s).
The campaign is a call for churches to take up 'The Story' as a journey through the Bible for all ages - to encourage people to grasp the Bible narrative and how the different parts of the Bible fit together. There are teaching notes for pastors and group leaders as well as video clips. This could be a 31-week series to go through the whole Story, or churches could adapt parts of it according to their needs.
One of the challenges of producing an abridged Bible is to know which passages to include and which to leave out. Not everyone will agree on the choices made. For example, The Story misses out the Tower of Babel. It would be interesting to compare different panoramic/abridged Bible products as to the decisions they have made. [more...]
"My daily appointment with my Bible has come alive since I discovered this video Bible. God not only speaks to me as I see the words of scripture but hearing them read keeps me concentrating."
The WatchWORD Bible is an example of a video-text Bible product, where you hear can the Bible read and see the text on the screen against the background of quality video photography.
The combination of seeing and hearing aids concentration and memory.
"In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children."
Daniel Hames writes this article to encourage Christian students to read the Scriptures. We are presented with three reasons why we might give up on reading the Bible: (1) You don't have time; (2) You think the Bible is about you; (3) You think your Bible reading is for God’s benefit.
The author doesn't want us to see Bible reading as a burden, but to recognise that the Bible "has been given to us to help us know and love Christ", that our Father "is generous and loving, and loves to communicate with us" and that "the Spirit has inspired the scriptures so that they bring life, joy, and fullness to the Christian walk." [more...]
"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."
"Clear, simple and readable - very practical, fully supported with further reading ... exactly the kind of thing that is needed."
Chris Wright, Langham Partnership
A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media. [more...]
"Modern society is awash in words. An auditory tidal wave cascades from our televisions, radios, media players, and the Internet. Today’s distracted worshippers often feel spiritually shortchanged when the Scriptures are spoken without passion and power.
This lively and encouraging resource is the collaboration of a gifted Bible narrator and a mentor to church leaders. In it they show how churches can train their own teams of Scripture readers. These laypeople can—with enthusiasm, conviction, and passion—"unleash the Word of God," and prepare hearts to receive the message. An illustrative, lively, multi-session DVD that brings the book’s lessons to life is included.
Spoken well, the Word of God opens and penetrates the listener’s heart. Simple, straightforward, and culturally relevant, this book-and-DVD combination provides the necessary tools to teach you how to read the Bible aloud, in a way that communicates its life-changing power!"