The Kerygma Program

Idea Bank Newsletter

Resources for Leaders of Adult Bible Study

Tips, Techniques and Stories

Issue #34 June 2015

Kerygma's E-Newsletter - June 2015

In This Issue

For Reflection

Studying the Bible--

for non-native speakers

Pentecost, which we observed on May 24, 2015, reminds us that from its very beginnings, the church was meant to be, would become, and is, in our present day--global. There are congregations and gatherings of Christians worshiping as churches--large and small, formal and informal-- throughout the world. God hears prayers as well as songs of praise in every language--no translator needed.

We might think of studying the Bible as similar to learning a different language. I'm not thinking here about the original languages of the various books of the Bible. Of course, it is helpful to know and study Scripture in its original languages as many pastors do. I do recall a worship service when I sat next to a Bible translator who was following along in his Greek New Testament as the Gospel lesson was being read in English from the lectern. Most of us, however, have callings other than to become linguists and we are grateful for the multiple English translations of the Bible that are available to read and to study.

What I am thinking about is that for each of us at some point studying the Bible was like stepping into a new and very different world. It is much like learning a new language. We were also once "non-native speakers," newcomers to this collection of books we call the Bible. Think about those who first heard the words of Jesus and were drawn to him. Like them, we have some sense that in following him, life would not, and will not, be the same. Because of faith in Christ, we are in a different place and speak in different terms. Continue

For Planning

As those who have learned to "speak" in terms of the Christian faith and know the importance of Bible study to sustain and strengthen faith, how do we help those who may be intimidated by the Bible, confused by it, or perhaps just embarrassed because they haven't really taken the time to study it. How do we help them, and guide them--remembering that we too were once "non-native speakers."

Kerygma has several studies to assist you in providing an introduction to the Bible to those within your congregation as well as an outreach to your neighbors.

Your Bible: The Study Begins - 7 sessions

This study answers basic questions that people have about the Bible, starting with "What is the Bible?"

Listening to Scripture: Strategies for Interpreting the Bible - 8 sessions

This study introduces six strategies for understanding the meaning of Scripture, for example, how to explore the historical setting and original audience, the literary context and structure.

Discovering the Bible: A New Generation - 30 sessions (15 Old Testament; 15 New Testament)

This study will assist participants in beginning to understand the Scriptures through reading and exploring key passages from the Old and New Testaments.

You can view sample lessons from these studies by using the links above.

My Question for You

Bible study--who has the time. I hear from Bible study leaders about the ways in which they are trying to meet the challenges of very busy adults who have little un-scheduled time. Members and visitors to our churches work hard to get to worship; where will they get the time to take on another commitment, such as a Bible study, much as they may want to?

So, how do we help them? I am asking you this question and would appreciate learning about any and all of your suggestions and the approaches you have tried.

I have heard some good ideas and here is one.

Schedule a Bible study on Sunday mornings for those who can attend the regular Christian Education hour. Then schedule a second time for the same study during the week. If you survey those interested in the particular study ahead of time, you can actually select the best alternate time during the week.

This approach works well if you have one leader for your group or several.

In the case of one leader--if you are doing the preparation for one session, why not get the most out of your preparation by offering the study twice if you are able to do so.

If you have several leaders--this approach provides some flexibility in scheduling. For example, when one leader has to be away, he or she can simply switch the leadership for that Sunday morning with the leader of the mid-week study.

So, what about this approach? I'd like to hear from you. Have you tried it? How does it work?

What is another way of solving the "I can't get there at that time" challenge?
phone: 800-KERYGMA (537-9462)
fax: 412-344-1823
mail: 300 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Suite 205
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1507