Bible engagement is on the move! More Christian leaders are talking about it. And more Christian organizations are spending money on it. That’s all good. But I’ve been thinking about what it is; does anyone have a definition of “Bible engagement” that the average Christian can understand and remember? Well guess what? I’m going to take a crack at it.
But before I do, let’s consider “what it’s not.” Bible engagement is not something only clergy can do; it’s for everyone. And it’s not something for people with lots of Bible experience; it’s for Bible newbies too. And it’s not just for people who like to read thick, dusty books before the sun comes up; it’s for people who are hungry for meaning all day long. OK…so what is it? Drum roll, please…
Bible engagement is“the process of taking in and living out God’s Word for the purpose of knowing him better and experiencing him more.”
You can remember that, right? Now let me break it down for you:
Taking in…which usually involves reading, but it can also involve hearing or watching or drawing or singing, or you name it. I just got a new iPad2 and I’m discovering there are lots of creative ways to take in the Bible’s message (when I’m not goofing around with the other apps).
Living out…it doesn’t do any good to be a Bible-know-it-all if it doesn’t make a difference in your actions. That’s called hypocrisy. Over the years I’ve discovered the most effective Bible study “method” is to do what it says. That’s when I really understand what it means.
Knowing him better…theologians say the Bible is God’s “self-revelation.” No matter what Bible passage you read, always ask, “What does this teach me about God?” If you want to know God, read his Book.
Experiencing him more…the Bible is like God’s personal journal; reading it connects us to his personality, his heart, and we begin to sense he is “with us.” For real. That’s when the Bible becomes life-changing.
So that’s my shot at defining Bible engagement. But I’m not saying it’s the only definition. How would you describe it? Add a comment to this blog post and let me know…what it is.