Bible Study and You in an African Way…..
On a sunny Sunday morning, she parked her bike in the fish bike rack and walked into the building wondering, “what kind of church is this?’ She sat in the back of the church following along in the worship folder, singing the hymns and then noticed that the words of the songs, the singing and the sermon were all from the sacred scriptures of the church – the Bible.
And then it hit her. She longed to know more. She longed to read this Book and find its relevance for her life. She realized for the first time in her life that she longed for a Bible Study. Who knew that this longing could be so strong. What would she to do?
I have met this “person” several times. Many long to join a Bible study and wonder how to begin? Here’s a suggestion:
1. Find a couple of friends to join you and agree to meet on a regular basis.
2. Choose from a series of readings: a) Psalms; b) The gospel texts assigned for Sunday; c) or read a specific gospel through – verse by verse.
3. And then follow the outline that our sisters and brothers in the African church. This Bible study method was introduced at the Lambeth Conference, a gathering of bishops of the Anglican Communion. It is known by both names: “Lambeth” and “African.”
Opening Prayer: O Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning. Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
- One person reads passage slowly.
- Each person identifies the word or phrase that catches their attention (1 minute).
- Each shares the word or phrase around the group (3-5 minutes, NO DISCUSSION).
- Another person reads the passage slowly (from a different translation if possible).
- Each person identifies where this passage touches their life today (1 minute).
- Each shares (3-5 minutes, NO DISCUSSION).
- Passage is read a third time (another reader and translation if possible).
- Each person names or writes “From what I’ve heard and shared, what do I believe God wants me to do or be? Is God inviting me to change in any way?” ( 5 minutes )
- Each person shares their answer (5-10 minutes, NO DISCUSSION ).
- Each prays for the person on their right, naming what was shared in the other steps (5 minutes).
Close with the Lord’s Prayer and SILENCE.
So…. open the Bible with a friend. God has something to say to you.