WHAT?

Jesus was intimately connected to Scripture. He relied upon it in times of spiritual struggle, used it to respond to doubters, found a vision for ministry in it, and taught it to his Disciples. Knowing and loving the Scriptures is a primary way that we become acquainted with God’s will and ways, with Jesus the Word of God, and with the story of the people of God.

Intentional Faith Development means not only reading and studying Scripture, but continually coming to a deeper understanding of their meaning and how to put their truth into practice.

Reading Scripture for Christian growth means engaging both your mind and heart while you read or study.

Engage your mind- How literate are your church members in the Bible?

  • Memorize Bible verses, locations, themes.
  • Learn history, cultural context, authorship, geography, etc.  
  • Use basic reading comprehension skills such as: What is the author’s purpose? What’s the problem or conflict?

Engage your heart- Does the Bible transform your church’s heart, beliefs, and actions?

  • Pray for inspiration of the Holy Spirit and for the mind of Christ
  • Explore ways to apply the Word to daily life
  • Listen to the meaning, wisdom, and life applications that others find in Scripture

Knowing and Loving Scripture can happen in a variety of settings, but is most effective when rooted in relationship with God and others.

 

Group Bible Study       Personal Devotions     Sunday school class     Sermon Discussions

 

“Too often church education programs tell us a great deal about God without bringing us into relationship with Him. In other words, faith information adds to our pool of knowledge about God; faith formation reshapes our heart to receive God’s love more fully.” –Syd Hielma in Shaped by God: 12 Essentials for Nurturing Faith

WHY?

We get a snipet of the Bible in a sermon once a month or in a morning devotional; or hear a sound-byte of scripture on the radio. However, these small doses are like a drop in the bucket of God’s vast wisdom contained in Scripture. Christians need deeper knowledge, more careful reading, honest dialogue, and sincere wrestling with Scripture to grow more like Christ.

 

HOW?

Reading Resource

  • Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation by Robert Mullolland
  • Eat this Book: A Conversation on the Art of Spiritual Reading by Eugene Peterson

Doing Resource

  • A long-term study such as DISCIPLE or Covenant Bible Study; OR short-term studies within a long-term group.
  • Sermon series with printed notes, discussion questions, or prayer guide
  • Journaling with S.O.A.P. method (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)
  • Bishop’s Bible Camp or Bishop’s Lenten Lunch Study

 

If you have questions or would like to further explore these Stepping Stones to faith development
please contact Rev. Amber Massingill by phone (817-877-5222) or email (amber@ctcumc.org).