Saturday, 10 September 2011

Helping other people read the bible - Christine Baxter

It is a good idea to start simple and get deeper gradually.  Reading a Children's bible can be a great place to start.  Offering to help is always a nice thing to do, perhaps guiding what to read and meeting regularly to discuss.

There are hundreds of aids to reading the bible, we are spoiled for choice.  The Bible Reading Fellowship, Scripture Union and the Bible Society all produce guides to name just three.  Helping people find one that works for them is part of our ministry.

Dramatised provisions of scripture can be an entertaining and fun way to explore the Bible.  There are many contemporary drama companies who do such things.

One of the things happening that St Johns Nottingham is the production of material for people who know very little about scripture.  It is a CD-Ron encyclopaedia of Christianity, searchable within both the Old and New Testament by themes.  It is aimed at A-Level learning.

One way to get people to read the Bible is to make it a church project, perhaps using a book.  For example "essential 100" (E100) takes people through the pertinent parts of the Bible.  These are fabulous as short courses.

There are many online resources available for going deeper into the Bible, for example Foundations 21 by BRF.

When people are getting to grips with the Bible then we need to move them on.  We may try putting the Bible in it's historical context.  Perhaps we'll "get critical" and enter into answering the questions that the Bible raises; debates can be fantastically exciting and engaging for some people.  

We need to remember that everyone is different in their life, background, knowledge and experience; we need to know an individual before we can really help them.  And of course pray; praying that the Holy Spirit brings people to a thirst for the Bible.

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