So you’ve built relationships with somebody in your neighborhood or work place. You’ve gotten to know quite a bit about them and they’re starting to consider you a friend. You’ve had a chance to share the Gospel Story with them and they want to know more. Now what? Where do you go from here?
You can always invite them to join your Missional Community in a service project to see the Christian life lived out in serving others. Or you could invite them to join your MC in hearing the Story-Formed Way. Yet the timing might not be right. You might feel like this person needs a little more understanding regarding how to read, understand , respond to, or apply God’s Word. One of the best ways you can help is to start reading the bible with them on a regular basis. Yet where do you begin?
If the person is already coming to your MC weekly, why not invite them to come 30 minutes before your gathering to read scripture with you? You could also invite them to join you on your lunch break once a week. Try to integrate the Bible Study into something that you’re already a part of so it doesn’t become an added “burden” to an already tight schedule.
What is the Bible?
You want to clarify what the bible is and is not.
- The Bible is not primarily a book of rules telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, though it does contain some laws and commandments. The bible isn’t really about you. It’s about God and about what he has done for you.
- The Bible isn’t a book showcasing a number of heroes that you should copy. The Bible does, at times, present people that we should try to emulate. Yet at the same time, many of those people aren’t heroes at all. When you look at their lives, you see that even the best people recorded in the Bible have many problems and make many mistakes, sometimes even on purpose.
- The Bible is primarily a story about God and His love. As Sally Lloyd Jones says, “Every Story Whispers His name”. It’s all about Jesus and what he’s done for us. (Luke 24: 25-27, John 5:39)
Before we begin to read the Bible, we want to pray that God would give us His Holy Spirit to understand, trust, and put into practice what the Bible says. Without His Spirit we cannot understand or believe the truth of God, nor can we put into practice what it says.
When we read any passage of the bible, maybe the best way of understanding what God is trying to teach you in the passage is to look at the verse, within its context (the surrounding paragraphs, chapters, and even the particular book itself) and ask questions concerning what the text reveals to us about:
- Who is God (His Character and nature)?
- What has He done, or has promised to do (particularly through Christ’s person and work)?
- Who are we (both apart from God and as a result of who God is and what he’s done)?
- How do we live now (In light of who God is, what he’s done, and who He’s made us to be)?
Additional questions to ask each other might be:
- When was the text written?
- By whom and to whom was the text written?
- Why was it written?
- Does it reveal God’s law, (how we should live) or Gospel, (what God does for us)?
- How can this text be applied to me?
- What is striking you about this text?
- Does anything in this text shock you?
- When might we use this passage or retell this story?
- What can I thank God for?
- What promises of God can I trust in?
- How does this text point to Jesus?
Things to have with you
- A Study Bible