Ways of Engaging with Scripture

Author: Krish Kandiah
Published by: Lausanne Global Conversation

"Many people feel the Bible is irrelevant for the modern world and unfortunately the sermon can underline that perception in two ways. First if we preach the text but do not apply it to our context, we confirm people’s suspicions that the Bible has nothing to say today. On the other hand if we preach without allowing Scripture to set the core heartbeat of our message but instead rely on holding people’s attention through great story telling or multimedia clips – this again implies that we believe the Bible has nothing to say today."

Krish Kandiah (Evangelical Alliance UK) encourages preachers to adapt their sermons to model how to read the Bible, showing their listeners an appreciation for the Bible that can help increase biblical literacy. He argues that "raising the level of biblical literacy does not mean simply giving people more information about the Bible, or helping them find more time to read the Bible, but imparting skills that will help people enjoy the Bible in its depth and diversity, bridging the ancient text with our contemporary context and inspiring worship for its Author."

This article is part of the Lausanne Global Conversation on Scripture in Mission.  [more...]

S.O.A.P. is a method of Bible reading and journaling. It can be used with any daily Bible reading plan.

S for Scripture
Open your Bible to today’s reading (according to whatever plan you are following). Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and write it in your journal.

O for Observation
What struck you and caught your attention in what you read? What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal Jesus to you. Paraphrase and write this scripture down in your own words.

A for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, revelation of a new promise, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.

P for Prayer
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or it may be a greater insight on what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Now, write it out.  [more...]

Promoting Scripture use in difficult environments
Author: Mary Beavon

“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”

Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible.  [more...]

Author: John D Wilson
Published by: PapuaWeb

"The occasion in Yali culture which became the natural opportunity for initial and continued transmission of Scripture — basically in the form of Bible stories — was in the evening hours which traditionally were given to nunung and dindil ale story telling. Here was a time when the community was used to gathering, and ready and eager to hear a new story."

This paper highlights some of the assumptions about Scripture that can limit or hinder its communication in an oral culture. The author examines orality (as opposed to non-literacy) with a view to demonstrating the capacity and capability of oral media (stories and songs) for the effective transmission of Scripture.  [more...]

The first foot forward in Scripture selection?
Author: Rick Brown
Published by: International Journal of Frontier Missions (18.4 Winter 2001)

Most frontier Bible translators would agree that one of the major goals of their role in the total mission task is that the receptor language community would gain access to adequate Scriptures. Scriptures may be defined as being "adequate" when they include (1) a selection of portions from the Old and New Testaments sufficient to address the basic spiritual needs of that community; (2) in a language that serves them well; and (3) in usable, appropriate media such that motivated members of their community are able to use them for personal growth and church planting.

In this paper, Rick Brown seeks to answer the following questions regarding the adequacy and accessibility of translated Scriptures:  [more...]

Training for small groups with DVD and workbook
Authors: Tony Payne, Simon Roberts
Published by: Matthias Media
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.
The aim of this course is that people will:
  • 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.
  [more...]