Here are some further thoughts on improving Biblical Literacy.
- It starts with children. Look at your teaching programme for your Sunday School and also what you do with your midweek clubs. We try to use a programme with our 4-11s that will take them through the whole Bible. With our 11-16s, they are either joining in the main Sunday morning teaching programme at our 9:30 service or have their own study group that follows the same teaching as the main sermon at our 11:15 service.
- Encourage people to learn the books of the Bible so that they know their way around it. Talk to them about how and why it is structured the way it is. Explain about the different types of literature including narrative, poetry, prophecy.
- Plan in opportunities to give overviews on how the whole Bible fits together. This might include a teaching series or even special days such as “walk through the Bible” events. We have tried
– A monthly family service picking up on one of the key stages in Biblical history
– Overview series. For example, this summer there will be an OT overview from Genesis to 1 Samuel preparing for a series on 2 Samuel. We also ran a Sunday night series picking up on 1 minor prophet each month.
– An Arts Day called “The Big Picture” where we looked at the whole bible narrative using painting, music, drama and poetry to help families discover the Bible story line together
- Prioritise book by book expository preaching. Make sure that you are preaching from both Old and New Testament and across the whole range of Bible literature. If you have attended a morning service at Bearwood Chapel over the past 7 years then you will have covered 9 books of the Bible. If you have attended both morning and evening then you will have covered 20 books of the Bible.
- So, by implication, encourage people to attend a morning and an evening service each Sunday. Encourage them to attend weekly. I know there is a challenge these days with family and work life meaning that many people count “regular” as a couple of times a month but to really benefit from systematic Biblical teaching we need to be there each week. Leaders need to model a love for gathering with God’s people.
- Oh and encourage them to get involved in a home group or midweek Bible study too. Our home group has spent time looking at Ruth, Hosea, Daniel, John, Acts, 1 Corinthians 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus.
- Encourage people to read the Bible at home and to bring a Bible to church with them. Give Bibles as presents along with support resources such as concordances, commentaries etc.
- Encourage family Bible studies.
- Get people memorising Scripture -not just individual verses but also longer passages and also to learn the shape and content of a book of the Bible.
- One of the aims of faithroots.net is to encourage Biblical Literacy by providing in depth resources on line that go beyond what we can cover in a sermon or Bible study.