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Ah, school has resumed and all is right with the world.  How thankful I am that my daughters are the only ones in our family heading back to class this fall.  Required readings, no thank you!  I have never been much of a bookworm; I’ve gotten better but still not what you would consider an avid reader.  I can safely say that through High School, I read 4 of the required readings: 3 Shakespeare Plays (Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar & Macbeth) and Grendel.  Reading was not my thing.
I worked with teenagers for over 11 years in a number of capacities and there was one thing I can always remember hearing, “the Bible is kinda boring and not really relevant.” I can easily relate to those feelings because up until recent years, I only found portions of scripture to be really fascinating.  I knew it was important and relevant, but wasn’t willing to dig to find it.  Paul addressed this issue with Timothy and reminded him of the importance and role of the scriptures in his life.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
God has spoken to his people in hundreds of different forms throughout the years: Angels, dreams, symbolic actions, a small voice, burning bush, prayer, fire, writing on a wall, visions, prophets, a donkey (Num. 22:28), preaching, miracles, a trumpet, fleece, and casting lots just to name a few, but the most consistent way of speaking to his people is through His Word.
In the study “When God Speaks” by Henry & Richard Blackaby, they break down this passage into four simple phrases revolving around the concept of how to know what to do as a follower of Christ.
God’s Word is useful for…
  • Teaching – to impart knowledge or skill to somebody by instruction and/or example
What is Right
  • Rebuking – to criticize or reprimand somebody, usually sharply; to tell somebody off
What is not right
  • Correcting – to take the errors out of something
How to get right
  • Training in Righteousness – learn the skills necessary to do a job, or teach somebody such skills, especially through practical experience
How to stay right
As followers of Christ, what would happen in our lives if we put all of these to work? As leaders, if we sincerely put these truths to practice, what things would change in our ministries?
As parents, there is a tendency to say things like, “We want our kids in church so they can hear the teachings of Christ. They need the Word, but now that I’m grown up, I can make it on my own.” Are you serious?! Adults face much more in life than kids and we need the guidance and direction much more than a child does. We need to be reminded of the love, encouragement and forgiveness of Christ, while at the same time being reminded of the consequences of our choices.
As we see how God speaks through His Word, I would suggest that the purpose of Bible Study is not simply to understand doctrine or to even defend what you believe.  Instead, it is a chance to see the story of God, His love for the people He created and to equip each of us for what is to come.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
 God’s Word helps equip you for the work He has planned for you.
 What is the last book you read?
 When is the last time you sat down to learn something new? GUEST POST by Josh MacFarland

Trends writes:  It’s not that people can’t read . . . they just don’t. Did you see the changes to the “warning labels” on cigarette packages that are coming down? It’s amazing to see the contrast between the original warning label on cigarettes from 1966 . . . and today. Our culture continues to march towards being totally post-literate.  More people in your church relate to ideas, concepts, and data through images and visual stimulation than in any other point in recent human history. If you think this isn’t affecting your people . . . think again!  What difference does this make to way we communicate to our churches and communities? Show don’t tell A picture has always been worth a thousand words . . . now a good picture or object lesson is worth 10 minutes of words in your message. Your environment matters The way things look at your location are communicating to visual learners.  Messy and unorganized? People are judging this like never before! Preacher + Graphic Designer It used to be a good graphic designer was a “nice to have” on your staff team . . . now you need to find a way to work hand in hand with someone native to the visual culture. Less is more Stop using so many words on everything . . . people aren’t reading them anyways. (I know how ironic this whole post is!) People of the Book? There are huge ramifications for our faith if we continue to focus on the written text.  The Christian faith shifted toward the text in the enlightenment era with wide levels of literacy.  We’re going to have to learn from pre-literate cultures around the world and look into our past to understand how to disciple people in this new world. Read more at  KillerChurch. Do you think the way people absorb information is changing?  How does that change your strategy as a church?