MODULE 4 RESOURCES
ASSIGNMENT: Before your next meeting, work through the Scripture Practices below. Also watch the video, Beginning, in preparation for the next meeting.
Written by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jay Wilde
Scripture Reading Exercise
By Megan Koch
In this exercise, you’ll use a simple 5 step approach to reading the Bible. This is an excellent way to weave scripture into the fabric of your life. However, we all know that sometimes it’s hard to make Bible reading a regular discipline. So set a goal. For the next week, commit to following this method for at least 5 days, and write down the ways that God speaks to you. At your next meeting, come prepared to share with your discipler at least one new way that God is calling you to live out Scripture.
Here are the 5 steps:
Quiet · Read · Listen · Reflect · Pray
1. Quiet your heart and mind. Take a minute to simply ask God to speak through his
2. Read the entire passage slowly.
3. Listen for something in the passage to grab your heart. This could be just one verse, a simple phrase, or even one word. Whatever comes to the surface, consider it a word from God.
4. Reflect on whatever verse, word, or thought God brought to the surface. Chew on it and enter into it. What would it look like for you to live out this word from God? What new characteristic of God does it show you? How is it an encouragement to a certain area of your life? Or, what area of your life do you need to submit to this word and work on? How would living this out give you more life in Christ? Write down some thoughts.
5. Pray a prayer of thankfulness and action. Thank God for his voice in your life, and ask him to help you live this out.
Devote space in your journal for this practice. Try to stick to passages that are anywhere between 5-15 verses long. Use the format provided below, or come up with one on your own. If you’re unsure of what passages to read, ask your discipler to help you get started.
Repeat the following exercise for five days:
As you listened, what part of the passage did God bring to the surface for you?
ASSIGNMENT: Read the Introduction to Inductive Bible Study below, and practice Inductive Bible Study with 1 John 1 at the bottom of the exercise. Also, watch the video, Fall, in preparation for the next meeting.
Fall: written by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jay Wilde
Introduction to Inductive Bible Study
By Megan Koch, Jake Thurston & Alex DeBat
Inductive Bible Study is an incredible way to encounter God’s Word. Often when we read the Bible, we take it in quickly, or we read it at face value. Consider the difference between looking at a postcard of the ocean, and what it’s like to put on a wetsuit and get underwater to explore the ocean yourself. Inductive Bible study invites us to take a deep dive into Scripture.
To add another illustration, you could look at it this way: Every passage of scripture we read is like a diamond. We read it one way, then turn it in the light to examine it from another angle. Suddenly we discover there are endless things to uncover and experience within even just one small passage of God’s Word.
This is the living Word of God. God is constantly speaking and revealing himself to us, but especially through Scripture. So when we dive into a passage, we can be confident that God is present, active, and talking to us as we study. You can encounter God right now through his Word, and this experience can change you, if you let it.
Inductive Bible study is simply a method of studying Scripture that pulls out as much of the text as we possibly can for a deep reading. Instead of simply chewing on a verse that sticks out to us, inductive Bible study allows us to ask questions, seek deeper meaning behind the text, and figure out how to apply those deeper truths to our lives.
Click through the arrows for a guide on how to read the Bible inductively.
ASSIGNMENT: Read the Introduction to Lectio Divina. Pick one of the recommended scriptures to practice Lectio with this week. Also, watch the video, Redemption, in preparation for the next meeting.
Redemption video: written by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jay Wilde
Introduction to Lectio Divina
By Megan Koch
Lectio divina, which is Latin for “divine reading,” is an ancient method of reading Scripture that began with St. Benedict. Lectio divina includes four distinct “movements:”
The purpose of this practice is not simply to know more of God’s Word or to memorize it (though that will happen as you practice), nor is it to study the context and make complex observations and connections as we do when in Inductive Bible Study. The purpose of lectio divina is to position yourself for an encounter with the Living God by slowly and methodically dwelling on one small passage of scripture. Eugene Peterson would tell you to eat it—to devour it intentionally, to savor it bite by bite, as if you were eating the best meal of your life.
In lectio divina we stop on just one verse, or a very small group of verses, for a sustained pause. This does not seem productive, nor does it promise a particular outcome or “application.” That is the point. Divine reading is a kind of “holy leisure” you can enjoy with God. You’re not in a hurry, and you don’t have to force this exercise to be meaningful. This is a practice. The only goal is to make room to be with God, and goes great alongside the contemplative prayer practices in Module 1 on Prayer. This might be very new to you, but go all in anyway. Think of this as an experiment in faith.
Set aside 20 minutes for this exercise.
1. Have your journal ready. Choose one of the suggested passages, or select your own, and locate it in your Bible:
Proverbs 19:21. John 3:16. Romans 8:38-39. Joshua 1:9. Jeremiah 29:11. Ephesians 2:8-9. Psalm 77:26. Isaiah 40:31. John 14:27. Matthew 5:6.
2. READ. Start by reading through the passage once, then again, and finally a third time. Read it out loud if you can, nice and slowly. Stretch out with it, get to know it a little. You might notice a few things as you do, but resist the urge to pull much from it right now; you’re just warming up. Which words stick out to you as you read? If something resonates with you, stop on it before moving on. Chew on it for a little while.
3. MEDITATE. Now begin again, this time even more slowly. Do something different this time. Follow the words with your eyes, but imagine God reading the passage to you, word by word. Listen as he does. Hear his voice, how it rises and falls as he speaks. This might sound strange to you, but try it anyway. Close your eyes, and dwell on the words and phrases bit by bit. Perhaps you’ll see something new you didn’t expect. What do you feel? What’s going on in your heart? Engage your imagination: what do you see?
4. PRAY. What do you need to say to God? Say it, then listen for his response. Give God room to answer. Sit in the pleasant silence. Talk back and forth together. Interact with God. Don’t rush.
5. CONTEMPLATE. Now tie a bow on what just happened. Take out your journal and write out the verse you’ve meditated on, then write down what God has been saying. Record the conversation so you can return to it later. Perhaps God is prompting you to do something: to send someone an encouraging text, to make something right, or a particular truth you need to sit on for awhile. Let what just happened in this practice move you to action today. God has spoken. What now? This is where the mysterious interaction of lectio divina gets practical. Take what God is doing and make it concrete somehow.
ASSIGNMENT: Watch the video, Completion, to wrap up Module 4. Then, in preparation for Module 5, have the Discipler complete the Creating Your Timeline and Life Theme exercises below. The Discipler will walk through these exercises at your next meeting before the Disciple completes them for him or herself.
Completion video: written by Phil Wiseman. Videography by Jay Wilde
Creating Your Timeline
By Megan Koch, Inspired by Don Miller's Book Storyline: Finding Your Subplot in God's Story
One important aspect of following Jesus is understanding how God has used your life experiences to form you into who you are today. We often think our lives are chains of random, meaningless events. However, when we encounter Jesus, we realize that we have a God who is present in all of it—even the difficult times. We are often so overwhelmed with simply living our lives that we rarely have an opportunity to step back and ask, “What does it all mean?” This exercise will do just that.
You will identify 8-10 of the most pivotal events of your life story and plot them on a timeline, just like a screenwriter would do. (Some people may identify more than 10 events, some less.) Once you’ve identified these events, you’ll begin to build a redemptive perspective and recognize how God has used these seasons to shape you into who you are today. Once you see that, you’ll begin to understand your purpose and calling in new ways.
You’ll need to set aside about 2 hours to complete this timeline, so plan accordingly. Don’t rush. If you need to leave this project and come back to it again to complete it, please do so.