Yesterday I wrote a post about some ways that you can help the people/students you lead “CATCH” how to read and study the Bible for themselves. For that post, go here.
Today I want to write about what we can teach to help others start to read the Bible for themselves. I have been leading teenagers for almost a decade now, and I have seen over those years one major thing: students WANT to read the Bible, but they just don’t know how… and that frustrates them, so they don’t make time to read it. I have to be honest… when I was in High School, I faced the same dilemma. Other things in life became more important because they were easier to understand. It wasn’t until someone intentionally started equipping me with how to read and study the Bible that it became a discipline in my life. These are the methods that they taught me:
1. Create Space –
create both time in your schedule and a regular meeting place where you will spend time with God. This needs to be as distraction free as possible. Even Jesus did this: Mark 1:35
2. Prepare your Heart; Clear Your Mind –
Prepare yourself to hear from God as you read. Get rid of the things that are distracting you from spending time with God.
3. Decide Your Destination –
Don’t play Bible roulette… you know… flip the pages and point and read. That’s a dangerous way to read the Bible. Be a little more systematic about it. Pick a book of the Bible, or use a concordance and pick a topic. Make sure that it is on purpose though.
4. Observation –
Read the passage with your eyes and mind wide open. Ask “who, what, where, when, why, how?” These are all GREAT observation questions. Write these observations down in a journal. This will give you a clearer picture of what is going on.
5. Put Some Thought Into It –
This is the skill of “Interpretation.” This is where you ask “What does this really mean?” and “What does this mean for me?” Write all of these down in your journal.
6. Do Something Because of It –
Now that you have observed the passage, and you have interpreted what it means, you now need to ask, “Do I need to do anything because of what I have just read?” Write this down in your journal.
7. Find an Ally to Push You –
We all need good friends who will influence us and push us to do the right things in our life. Reading our Bibles is an important discipline to have a friend push us in. Find someone to keep you accountable with it.
There are probably many different ways to approach this, but these are the skills that I use when I study my Bible.