Since most of the existing pamphlets in the Participatory Study Series were released before I started this blog, I’d like to go back through previous releases and let you know what is available.
For those who are not aware, these pamphlets are available free on the web. I provide a PDF, and HTML and either an Open Document Text (see OpenOffice.org) or Microsoft Word format file. While I hold the copyright to these pamphlets, the purpose is to prevent others from modifying them and using them without attribution. You may freely print as many copies as you wish. There is space provided to add your own contact information, so you can take the Word file, for example, add in your church’s name, phone number, and web site, and use these pamphlets in your outreach program. They will print on almost any inkjet printer, or if you are willing to work grayscale, on any laser printer.
Today I want to feature two pamphlets:
The first of these two pamphlets outlines very briefly an approach to Bible study, what I call the participatory study method. The basic definition of participatory Bible study is a form of study that gets people involved and does not depend on a teacher to dispense all of the information. I intend to go much further. Participatory Bible study, as I use it, means that we get involved in, participate in, the story of God’s saving activity in the world. The story is not just about Abraham, Elijah, Jesus, or Paul. The story is about us. It’s about how we continue to add to the story of salvation through God’s actions in our lives, but only if we share them.
That’s why the final item, last but not least, is sharing. As we learn and apply the Bible we will gain much by sharing. Sharing makes us formulate our ideas in such a way that we someone else can understand them, it provides accountability as someone else can point out serious errors, it provides a balance, as we see how others have understood the same passage, and it provides us with an impetus to new study as others ask us questions or present us with situations we may not have considered.
The method presented in this pamphlet, and expanded online at Participatory Study Method is designed to get you involved in the story.
The other featured pamphlet, The Authority of the Bible is a simple, basic statement about why we should put any form of trust in the Bible. This will not teach advanced views of Biblical inspiration, but it does provide a starting point.
You can use these two pamphlets to help get a good Bible study group started. Combined with a good, basic study edition, such as The Learning Bible (CEV), and you can run a basic Bible study that is constructive and will help in your spiritual growth and that of your group.