Audio

Read, Reflect, Remember, Respond
Author: Lawson Murray
Published by: Scripture Union Canada (2017)

About the book (from the Bible Engagement Basics web page):

Do Christians really know what the Bible is and the difference it can make in their lives?
Are Christians being equipped to dynamically connect with God’s Word? Is the Bible being read as God intended? According to Bible engagement advocate, Dr. Lawson Murray, the answer is no. He says, “Most Christians are unsure about how they should interact with the Bible. They’re confused about what it is, how to read it, and how to apply it to their lives.”

Vision for Bible Engagement Basics
“The vision for this book is not to help more people read the Bible,” says Murray. “The fact that only 2 out of 10 Christians will read the Bible from cover to cover isn’t really the problem. The real problem is relational - people aren’t connecting with Jesus. That’s why this book’s about learning how to engage with the Bible in order to meet with Jesus and live in harmony with His Story.”

Contents
Each chapter looks at a different aspect of Bible engagement and provides tips to help a reader read, reflect, remember and respond to God's Word.

The book is divided into 3 sections: Principles (Theme, Authority, Story, and more), Practices (Interpreting, Reflecting, Spoken Word, Journaling and more) and Paradigms (Children, Millenials, Small Groups and more).  [more...]

An interactive workshop for training listening group leaders and promoters
Author: Richard Margetts (2016)

Available in both English and French.

The training workshop described in this guide was developed in West Africa and includes input received from around the world. It is for listening group leaders (those who lead/facilitate the groups) and for group promoters (those who visit groups to encourage them and mentor the facilitators).

A listening group is an opportunity for people to get together to listen to a passage from the Bible and talk about it together. In this guide, you’ll find elements which focus on the ‘why’ of listening groups as well as the practical details of ‘how’ to lead a group.

WHY?
Group leaders need to know why they are doing what they are doing. What is the aim of a listening group? What kinds of group can we have? How will we know if a group is working well or not? Why are they gathering together to listen? The aim should be transformational Scripture engagement: that people encounter God’s Word in life-changing ways.

HOW?
The workshop guide includes sections on how to lead the listening time, how to manipulate the audio player and how to ask good discussion questions. It can be taught in an interactive way and participants should have plenty of opportunity during the workshop to practice participating in and leading listening groups.

An ideal time for such a workshop could be when new audio Scriptures in the local language have been recorded for a community and when audio players are available. It would work well at the launch of a listening group programme in a region, after some initial promotion work has been done to get churches involved and committed to running groups.

The guide is downloadable here in both PDF and Word formats and is published under a Creative Commons License, meaning that you can adapt it for use in your context.  [more...]

Studying the Bible in Small Groups
Author: Karen Soole
Published by: 10Publishing, 2015

'Unleash the Word', by Karen Soole, provides practical help and encouragement on studying the Bible in small groups. The author recommends the 'big questions' model:

  1. The "no-holds barred question": is there anything that particularly strikes you as we read the passage through?
  2. What does it say?
  3. What does it mean?
  4. So what?

Some helpful quotations from the book:

"A small-group leader is not there to lecture group members, but to help them engage with the text." (ch. 1)

"So as we approach the idea of leading a Bible study, we have two main aims in our minds: the first is to get people to really engage with God's Word so that they are rooted in Christ; the second is to make sure the Bible is handled well within a context that handles people well." (ch. 1)

"The aim in a study is for the leader to help everyone move on in their understanding, to spiral deeper into the text, to get closer to the heart of God's Word." (ch. 2)

"Whatever our temperaments we need to keep hold of two principles: we need to first really know and rejoice in God's Word, and second really know and love God's people." (ch. 3)

"Switching from a model of Bible study that asks many questions to one with far fewer is nerve-wracking - it is as though your security blanket has been taken away. It might appear structure-less, but this method has a very clear structure. People are often concerned that with so few questions the group will quickly come to a staggering halt. In my experience this does not happen." (ch. 7)

"Let's not make our studies into sessions that leave everyone burdened by religious rules but instead let us encourage each other to live in relationship with our Lord because of His mercy." (ch. 6)

Available as a printed book and in eBook/Kindle format.  [more...]

Help Your Young People Enjoy Life with the Bible
Author: Adrian Blenkinsop
Published by: Bible Society Australia, 2013

"The Bible According to Gen Z" is a collection of essays from Australia on encouraging Bible engagement among young people. It includes research results and analysis, together with responses from youth leaders and case studies.

Here are some selected quotes:

"The study showed that the best way to encourage young people to read the Bible is to encourage them to participate in a Bible reading group."

"Encouraging the sharing of ideas, opinions and questions around a passage is also vital for young people to dig into Scripture, and have a sense of 'discovery' and shared learning."

"Many young people read very little, especially in the form of books... Bible reading requires a sustained effort of a kind that is 'uncomfortable' for many young people."

"Individualism and post-traditionalism has meant that life is approached in a very flexible manner... Few young people develop strong habitual or structured daily activities, except in relation to the demands of school and work... The mobile phone has encouraged this unstructured approach to life. Hence, few young people develop structured habits of daily Bible reading."

"There's one core issue that sits at the heart of young people not 'getting into' the Bible. It may seem harsh - but it's simply that there is a consistent lack of modelling of Bible engagement from leaders. If the leaders of young people are not engaging with the Bible, the clear message to those they influence is that the Bible is not important."

"When Bible engagement is done in non-interactive, non-creative ways, it often reinforces the lack of importance and relevance of the Bible in the minds of young people."

"Experiencing the Bible as relevant depends on the attitudes one brings to it. If young people read it simply as stories of long ago, it had little relevance. If they read it as God's communication today, they were far more likely to experience it as relevant to life."

"For the young people who do read the Bible, there is often a frustration with the 'non-immediacy' of it (the fast-food approach to the Bible)."

Available as an e-book or printed book.  [more...]

Results of a study, surveying nearly 5,500 people in Burkina Faso and Cameroon
Authors: Béatrice Konfe-Tiendrebeogo (ANTBA, Burkina Faso), Julious Ngum Kimbung (CABTAL, Cameroon), Martin Engeler (OneBook, Canada), 2014

This study was undertaken by a small team of Africans and Canadians to measure the impacts of translated Scriptures, literacy and Scripture engagement programs on marginalized minority language communities, to discern whether certain hypotheses are true and to better understand which program practices yielded the post positive impacts.

Here are the five hypotheses which were tested:

  1. The most effective projects in transforming people groups are led and implemented by nationals.
  2. The most effective projects in transforming people groups had strong literacy programs to ensure mother-tongue literacy of a substantial part of the population.
  3. Effective literacy programs bring positive community transformation in the areas of social, economic and spiritual realms.
  4. Good access to and use of the mother-tongue Scriptures will foster qualitative and quantitative church growth.
  5. Nationals led the most transformational (effective) and fastest (efficient) programs in transforming communities.

Nine language communities in Burkina Faso and nine in Cameroon were selected, each of which had either a concluded or an ongoing Bible translation and literacy project.

The report, published in 2014, concludes that translation of the Scriptures is not enough, but by working hand-in-hand with functional, transitional and basic literacy, lasting impacts are achieved.  [more...]

How the Church Can Help
Author: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill, Dick Baggé, and Pat Miersma
Published by: American Bible Society (2015)

This book offers a practical approach to engaging the Bible and mental health principles to find God’s healing for wounds of the heart, which provides a strong foundation for restored lives and relationships.

This edition is adapted for ministry in North America, with all-new stories and three new chapters on domestic abuse, suicide, and addictions. Apart from this, it includes the same content and approach as the original Healing the Wounds of Trauma: How the Church Can Help.

It is a resource for leaders in churches and NGOs who care for people who have suffered horrific events like conflict, abuse, and disasters. It will also help individuals struggling with suffering. It provides core mental health principles within a biblical framework, an approach that has been field tested since 2001 with leaders from Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and independent churches. It has been adapted into more than 150 languages and cultures around the world.

The book is designed for use in groups and written in simple and non-technical language. Each lesson begins with a story depicting its topic, followed by discussion questions and participatory exercises. The book includes more than 270 Bible references from more than 217 passages.  [more...]

Published by: GemStone Media (2014)

"In the high mountains of Central Asia are shepherds who live a simple but rugged life. The village where they live is extremely remote and isolated from the outside world. Going there feels like you're stepping back into time. This is the first time a film has been done with this people group. All of the actors are from the local village."

This is the first film in GemStone Media's Luke 15 trilogy, which is followed by "The Lost Jewel" and soon "The Lost Sons".

To see footage from the making of The Lost Sheep, watch the video "The Lost Sheep - Behind the Scenes".

The film is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. It can be downloaded and shared freely.  [more...]