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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Reading the Bible in Community

On Wednesday I will be teaching a class on “How to use the Bible devotionally in small groups”–part of a series for a class at Willow Creek, my home church.

I’ll be talking about listening to God through his Word, about reading for “formation” rather than just “information.”

Our culture also puts emphasis on individual reading and study. But the New Testament letters were never studied individually at the time they were written. They were read aloud to the church, in a corporate setting, and immediately discussed. What if we were to do that in our small groups?

I wonder how many small groups turn to books about Christian living, or about relationships, rather than the Bible itself. I lead a small group, and I have to admit, it’s sometimes hard to draw applications and make the ancient texts relevant.

But that’s why I said yes to teaching this class. I think study is an important foundation, but true transformation occurs when we let the text touch our hearts. So I’m excited about not only sharing this with the leaders who will gather for the class, I’m inspired to put it into practice in my own group. The class will be available on-line after I teach it, I’ll post the link.

Are you in a small group? Do you study the Bible, or another book? Would you say your approach is more analytical, or devotional?

5 Comments

  1. In a Sunday school class that my husband was leading the curriculum grew into presenting a scripture or several from the Bible. We then as a small group would just divide it, share other scripture as they came to mind, work through the text to see what God meant and what it means for our lives as believers. I would say that this was the best class I have ever been involved with. Looking foward to what you will share about your class. I would love to take this idea and run with it for a summer MOPS group. 🙂

  2. My husband teaches a Sunday school class that focuses on what the scripture says and making practical applications to life today. It isn’t a verse by verse study (don’t analyze each word of the verse) but rather a study of the verses in context. He provides some historical or other background information to understand where the author is coming from. It definitely is not devotional in nature, but not overly analytical. It is just a very practical but informative study of the scripture. He has the ability to present the scripture and also challenge the participants to think and to make the application individually. He currently is teaching 1 Corinthians. I think your class sounds very exciting. I hope you will share more about the study here. Prayers and blessings!!

  3. My husband is leading our small group through a study of the book of John, written by Max Lucado. i’d say that study is very much devotional. But it’s great!

  4. It sounds like an interesting class…I’ve never studied just the Bible in any small groups I’ve been in. We usually pick a Bible Study book that leads us through a book of the Bible, which is similar, I guess, but it provides contemporary questions and complementary verses alongside the main Bible text.

  5. I teach a women’s class each week. We have been studying books of the Bible. I started teaching with the prompting of my Titus 2 mentor. She wanted me to teach a book of the Bible without using a purchased book. It has been an amazing experience. I read the text, research, and then create questions for the class. Needless to say, I have learned the most. I try and do life application questions at the end of each chapter. We are currently studying Acts.
    Can’t wait to see your lecture notes!

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