Ways of Engaging with Scripture

“Then their [our] eyes were opened…”
Author: Silvia Regina de Lima Silva

"In Latin America the interpretational situation is shaped by the community dimension - so we talk about reading communities. We affirm that the community is the context (literally ‘the lap’) in which the meaning of the text can rest and express its full implications. This is a passionate reading in which people study the text and explore it deeply with body, soul and emotions… ‘Were not our hearts burning within us?’"

Grassroots or ‘Popular Bible Reading’ (PBR) is a space for reflection that takes as its starting point a dialogue between life and the Bible. In this article, Silvia Regina de Lima Silva uses themes from the Emmaus Road story to describe this community-based Bible reading approach which began among the poor and marginalized over thirty years ago.  [more...]

Talk outlines for Bible teachers around the world
Author: Phil Crowter
Published by: The Good Book Company

Pray Prepare Preach (PPP) is a series designed to help Bible teachers worldwide explain God's Word clearly and accurately. Each guide provides basic sermon outlines, written in simple English.

They provide:

  • a study section to help the preacher understand the passage context.
  • a basic talk outline, with suggestions for headings, illustrations and application.

Three titles are now available, to download for free as PDF documents or to order as printed booklets: Preaching Mark, Preaching Philippians, Preaching Job, Preaching God's Big Story.  [more...]

Scripture Engagement handout from the FOBAI Annual Meeting 2014
Author: Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement

While many tend to think of prayer and Bible reading as separate spiritual practices (e.g. first I pray, then I read the Bible), they can be even more powerful when combined into one practice of "praying Scripture."

The Forum Of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI) Annual Meeting 2014 was held in Sri Lanka, with the theme "Next Generation Scripture Engagement - The South Asian Experience". We began every morning with a time of Scripture engagement in our table groups, meditating on Psalm 1 in different ways. On the second day, the focus was on Praying Scripture.

"To pray the Scriptures is to order one's time of prayer around a particular text of the Bible." This can mean either praying the prayers of the Bible word-for-word as your own prayers, personalizing portions of the Scriptures in prayer, or praying through various topics of the Bible.

Download the handout which contains more thoughts on Praying Scripture, including insights into how George Mueller started his day:

"The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord blessing upon his precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately or less into prayer."  [more...]

A new way of getting people to get to grips with Scripture
Author: Steve Levy
Published by: Evangelicals Now (March 2010)

"There used to be just three people in our church reading through the Bible — now there are 150. One older lady, a believer since her 20s, had attempted to read the Bible through for years and every time had given up. ‘Now, together with everyone else, I think I’m going to do it’, she said."

Steve Levy describes how his church has divided everybody up into small groups - Read the Bible Together groups - which meet together once a month. Before coming to the group, people are asked to read or listen to a book of the Bible. They then come together to share what God has been teaching them: "We need to help each other. The Bible is written to be talked about. It grows. It is not bound."  [more...]

Author: Phil Green (ed.)
Published by: Biblefresh/Evangelical Alliance UK (2010)

"Why aren’t we laying subversive charges of Bible Semtex everywhere that blow people’s minds - blasts like Creation, Fall, God’s Master Plan, Adam and Christ, The Cross, Trinity and Relationships, Christ’s Glorious Achievements, and much more? Our goal isn’t to teach bland moralism but to re-shape millions of minds with God’s ‘do-my-head-in’ story of Creation, De-creation, and Re-creation in Christ. Only then can relationships, moral decision-making, and our brief lives be done fully to the glory of God.."

Published as part of the Biblefresh initiative, this free downloadable e-book is a compilation of articles by preachers in the UK. They seek to answer the question: "What does preaching need to look like in our multicultural, digital, image-soaked, biblically illiterate, global age? Does preaching need a refresh to be refreshing?"

Authors include: Greg Haslam, Krish Kandiah, Vaughan Roberts, Chris Green, Peter Mead and Derek Tibdall.  [more...]