Yesterday in our discipleship group with some student guys, I asked a question: “What have you guys been reading lately in the God’s Word?”
“Not much, I should be reading more.”
“To tell you the truth, I haven’t been reading much of the Bible lately.”
“I guess I’ve been looking at a little of John’s gospel, and maybe a psalm.”
“I’ve got to get that back into my schedule.”
This makes me sad because I want our students to LOVE God’s word. That’s something I think about often: how do I cultivate a love for God’s word in the students I work with?
Here's our family and a group of students Malisa and I work with at our Fall Retreat.
Lucy from Northeastern started coming to Malisa's athlete bible study last year. She was a new believer, but eager to grow and learn about Jesus.
Every Summer, Malisa loves to give the girls she works with a book to read that would encourage them or spur them on. This summer, she gave them Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. The book teaches the basics of how to study the Bible (and despite the title is something men can learn from too!).
So over the summer Lucy taught herself to read the bible. And now she's flourishing. She can't get enough of studying His Word.
We love that Lucy loves to play with our girls.
How about you? How did you first come to understand God’s word? How has your reading of the bible changed?
Growing a Love for God’s Word
Over the years, Malisa and I have grown a huge love for God’s word. This looks different at different times in our lives. On a summer mission trip to Berlin as a student, I had tons of time and so I wrote my own (very poor) commentary on Hebrews. When Malisa and I were dating, she had the space to have long quiet times with her bible and her journal in the living room of her home in Seattle. Now as parents of 3 little kids, it looks different.
Solutions for me
Now, I grab bits of the Bible wherever I can. I love reading it to my children (often with the Jesus Storybook Bible). I get to study Ephesians during our summers in the Middle East. But much of my connection with God’s word comes in bits – in Podcast form, in apps on my phone, by reading devotional books on my Kindle, by listening to sermons, by reading to prepare for time with students. I’ve recently been enjoying both the podcast and videos of The Bible Project. Jacqui, one of our students, turned me onto the videos and my friend Dan turned me on to the podcast.
Solutions for our students
My friend and co-worker Todd was in my discipleship group yesterday. He was very tender: “I don’t want you to hear this as performance, but since you all just said you wanted to grow in reading God’s word, what would be a good next step for you?”
Nick wants to switch up his bedtime routine and remove youtube and add some bible reading. When’s bedtime? The earliest is at 12:30.
Sam wants to read a chapter of the bible every night and take some notes (“without notes, it’s like I didn’t read it”) between 9:30 and 10 pm
Christian wants to take out the willpower required and maybe read in the afternoon or evening – rather than the morning when he can’t concentrate. When I shared the idea of listening to the bible as a podcast or something while walking to class or going to the gym, he loved the idea – “I like double tasking.”
What about you?
What about you? What would be a good next step at getting into God’s word?
Reading at a particular time
Listening to the bible
Listening to the bible being taught (sermon series or podcast)
Writing it out
Contemplative bible reading
Would you take a moment and reply to this e-mail with your next step?