I have tried to make a little bit of Bible study a part of our fledgeling communities. I’m very intentionally trying to not turn it into just a Bible study and I’m very intentionally making sure that everyone is able to share a bit about what the passage might mean to them. I want it to shape the lives of the members but also let them know they have the ability to interact with the Bible through the Spirit.
What we are trying to develop is a way of reading the Bible in missional communities that democratizes the process, so that anyone can do it. This requires a confidence in the power of the Bible, by giving it room to breathe and shape thoughts and behaviors within our group without us first micromanaging the process in case something not fully sound slips out. (Actually, we have found that groups are naturally self-correcting when that occurs, but in a way that preserves and honors relational dynamics).
Put another way, we should be reading the Bible in a way that is simple, but not simplistic. This will unleash its power, as Jesus takes something simple and embeds it deeply into a heart — with the rest of the community watching on, encouraging and helping that process where they can, and themselves being impacted by what is being shared.
So… SIMPLE but not SIMPLISTIC.