Most of the time, the posts I write are about helping you enjoy the Bible, get more out of it, understand it better, or pass it on to your kids, students, co-workers or neighbors. This episode will help you in many of those areas, but from a slightly different angle than you might expect.
So often, we look at Bible study tips and instantly think about our own, personal, before-the-world-wakes-up quiet time. In a word, we picture ourselves alone.
And while I’m certainly a fan of time alone with God (see Episode #10 if you want to know more), we are missing out on four huge benefits if we don’t spend some time reading and unpacking the Bible with other people. These aren’t nice-little-add-on benefits. These are your-life-won’t-be-as-rich-without-them benefits.
1. Brief Intro (moved the Resource of the Week to the end and did less “chatting”).
2. Shorter overall length. In past episodes, I’ve tried to target 30-40 minutes. This week’s episode is 23:05.Let me know what you think of the changes (and if you have other suggestions)!
Main Topic: 4 Benefits You Can ONLY Get from Reading the Bible with Other People
- Your buddy will help you be more consistent. We may not want to admit we need the accountability. (But we do.) We may believe we’re supposed to want to read the Bible. (But sometimes – let’s be honest – we don’t.) And who knows? Maybe your buddy needs the accountability and you’re it!
- Your buddy will make it more fun. Few things retain their enjoyment when only done in isolation. We get more interested in what we talk about. Period. See what happens if you only go to movies alone and never talk to anyone about a movie you’ve seen or a book you’ve read. Try going an entire football season, only watching the games alone, never talking to anyone about last weekend’s game, never reading the paper or online chatter, and never listening to sports radio. How interesting would that be?
- Your buddy will see things you miss. As pastor Timothy Keller puts it, “A small group study will always give you insights you would never get on your own.” Yup. That’s the truth. (Go ahead and Tweet it.)
- Your buddy will clarify your own thinking. Simply put: Thoughts that stay in your head remain cloudy. Only when we talk through them will we recognize our own incorrect thinking – and become more solid in our correct thinking. The founder of Navigators, Dawson Trotman, put it this way, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips.” (Ooo…that’s good. You might want to Tweet that too.“)
Listener Questions (Listen at 14:49)
What is the ideal size for a small group?
You can listen to my explanation on the podcast, but the short answer is slightly different for a small group of “couples/families” or a small group of “men/women/students.” For couples and families, I suggest 4-5 couples. For groups of individuals, the number should be 4-8 individuals.
I struggle with finding a quiet place and making time. So many distractions. Ideas?
Oh man, do I relate to this one! I cover this in greater detail on the episode (listen at 16:25), but I met someone last month who recommended not only finding a specific place (couch, chair, kitchen table) and time (for me it’s 6am). He suggested making the “journey” to that place a prayer at every step, so that whether you’re walking down the stairs, pouring a cup of coffee, or shuffling toward the chair, you are becoming increasingly aware of God at every moment.
Can I answer your question on a future episode?
I have several ways you can submit a question – or an idea for an episode topic:
- Call the dedicated Podcast Voicemail Line: (425) 522-3487
- Shoot me an email: podcast– at – keithferrin.com
- Record a voicemail – up to 90 seconds – at www.speakpipe.com/keithferrin.
- Leave a comment here on this page.
Resource of the Week (Listen at 20:52)
The Resource of the Week is www.ChristianAudio.com.
If you like audio books, you have to check out this site. They work very much like Audible.com, but have the largest collection of Christian audio books online. Here are a few details:
- You get “credits” with your monthly subscription and use these to buy your audio books. (You can also simply pay for the books if you don’t want a monthly subscription.)
- $14.95 = 4 credits each month. $24.95 = 8 credits. (Credits rollover. The never expire.)
- Most books are 3-4 credits, though there are always specials and sales. (Including a free “featured” audio book every month that doesn’t use your credits.)
BTW – This is NOT an affiliate link. If they develop an affiliate program, I’ll certainly note that here. (As you know, I always disclose that info.)
The Next Episode:
- A Super Fun Piece of the Bible Study Puzzle You Are Probably Missing. We will unpack Tip #8 from my new book.
What question would you like me to answer on the next episode (or a future episode)?
Links (People, Info, and Resources) from Episode 009:
- This episode is based on Tip #8 from my newest book – 10 Tips for Liking the Bible (Because Believing It’s True Is Not Enough)
- ChristianAudio.com – See the Resource of the Week for more info.
- Redeember Presbyterian Church – Timothy Keller is the pastor.
- Navigators – The ministry founded by Dawson Trotman
- Podcast artwork – Brian Gage at Pipe & Tabor.
- Intro/Outro music – Dan Carollo of CeltoGrass Music.
- If you enjoyed this episode, would you do me a favor and share the love? (pre-written tweets and Facebook posts)
- Or…write a quick review or rate this podcast on iTunes?
- Or…you can TWEET THIS:
“Struggle with LIKING the Bible? Want to like it more? Check out @KeithFerrin’s podcasthttp://wp.me/P2rPgQ-FS #LikeTheBible”