We talk a lot about studying the Bible but how frequently do we give people accessible options to make it a habit? There are 80 posts on this blog that deal with studying the Bible in some way, shape or form. We have classes on all the proper “how to’s”…how to read a psalm or how to study a Gospel. But most people walk away with lots of “how to” knowledge but little actual doing. The normal track that I have seen people take is to encourage personal Bible study by trying to read through the Bible in a year. That is a great thing to do and anyone over the age of 12 should be able to complete it if they are motivated enough. But in reality most people don’t.
So what can we do to make Bible study more accessible and habit forming? I think it is important to regularly put things in the hands of Bible students that is on their level, relevant, biblical, and brief. I say those things specifically because I think there are a couple of typical barriers people face to studying the Bible. People bail if:
- The study is over their head – so make it simple
- The study is irrelevant – so make is practical
- The study just seems to be pop-psychology with little bigger picture meaning of what it has to do with our relationship with God – so make it biblical
- The study is so long that people won’t make time for it – so make it brief
It is important that we recognize the barriers that keep people from making personal daily Bible study a habit and put something in their hands that is basically barrier free and gets them right to the text in a way that is meaningful and applicable.
- Pick a book of the Bible (we picked James – download it from this post)
- Break the book down into chunks that you can write a one page study on (again see the James study for an example)
- Write up brief study guides that are emailed to your target group/Bible class on a regular basis (at least 3/week)
- Follow up/accountability – see if anyone is doing it and encourage them to do so.
This probably takes someone on staff to accomplish unless you have some really dedicated people to put this together. We are hoping to work through the entire New Testament outside of Bible class in this manner and I will keep you updated through the Small Group Lessons page on the blog. Hopefully through this we can get more people making a habit out of studying the Bible. I truly believe that the Word of God has the power to transform lives but it takes us getting motivated to study and actually doing so rather than just talking about it. If you aren’t studying the Bible on a regular basis challenge and encourage you to take on the study of James and follow along with us through future studies.