When I facilitate various small group Bible studies I have found it helpful to keep a paper Bible nearby and ready. I know that I can read any version of the Bible that I want from a tablet or phone, but there is something special about reading the Bible from a paper Bible. In this week’s facilitator tip, I want to encourage you to always have a Bible within reach when you facilitate a small group.
ALWAYS HAVE A PAPER BIBLE WITHIN REACH
“The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.” ~ Patrick Henry
A paper Bible limits distractions and there is something special about reading from a real paper Bible versus a Bible on a phone or tablet. “The Word of God is a weapon Satan cannot overcome, but our responsibility is to know it, obey it, and trust it” (Warren Wiersbe, The Delights and Disciplines of Bible Study, p. 227). Therefore we should have one nearby at all times ready for reference and use.
L is for Learning: Instilling the Word of God
At the church I serve at each letter in “LIFE” stands for a value. The “L” in our LIFEGroup description stands for “Learning: Instilling the Word of God.” Every group should be using the Bible and interacting with the Bible during their time together. Billy Graham once said, “The Bible is the constitution of Christianity.” There are three ways that we want to have people learning God’s Word.[ref]The “LIFE” framework is a copyright of David Ward Miller.[/ref]
First, is “accord” and unity by doing the Unifying Question each week. This encourage people in your group to be faithful in attending church on the weekends as well as being part of a small group. It also reminds your group what they learned at church and how they should be applying it to their lives.
Second, is “accuracy” by doing careful interpretation of the biblical text and guiding an open discussion. One reason I like to encourage groups to use the Wiersbe Bible study guides is that there are good notes and a good commentary that help you as a facilitator to do careful interpretation of the Bible.
Third, is “application” by making the material have personal relevance for meaningful life change. Information should lead to application and transformation.
The Bible Is the Textbook
Regardless if your small group uses a Bible study guide like the Wiersbe guides, a DVD topical study by Chip Ingram, GriefShare, Financial Coaching, or DivorceCare, you need to interact with the Bible regularly. The Bible is your textbook, and the curriculum you have is simply the tool to help you study and interpret the Bible
Keep Your Bible Nearby
As you facilitate your small group, keep your personal Bible nearby for easy reference. Ruth Bell Graham once shared, “Down through the years, I turned to the Bible and found in it all that I needed.” I prefer to have my personal Bible nearby because I have marked certain pages, underlined verses, marked passages, and highlighted key words. It is a Bible that is personalized to me, and this makes it easier for me to find the information that I need when I need it. I encourage you to have your own personal Bible that you mark up and take notes in which you can reference when you need it.