There is often a vast disconnect between the awareness of the need for disciple-making and practical tools that actually aid in this work. Three factors are essential: Scripture, relationships, and time. Discipleship happens when the life-changing truth of Scripture is infused into genuine relationships over an extended period of time.
Our desire was to create a simple, reproducible strategy that would facilitate this process. This led us to develop a simply strategy for small clusters (2-3 people) to meet together regularly and talk about the Scriptures and apply them to their lives.
The seven arrows of Bible reading were an attempt at developing a tool for proper hermeneutics to power these relationships. We did not want our people to simply talk about the Bible. We wanted them to understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives. Each cluster would read a predetermined passage of Scripture and discuss it using these seven arrows.
Kevin DeYoung, in the first of a three-part series:
The Jews in Berea, it is said, were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). How telling–for them and for us–that nobility is measured not by titles, land, parentage, wealth, or degrees, but by how we handle the word of God. Our approach to the Scriptures sets us apart as riff-raff or royalty.
So how do we become better Bereans?
That’s the question I recently posed to my congregation and the question I want to explore this week. How can we be more like the noble Bereans and less like the rabble from Thessalonica (Acts 17:5)?
Let me suggest ten ways: three for today, four for Wednesday, and a final three on Thursday.
If you’re a fan of Calvin and Hobbes (who isn’t?), you’ll find this interesting.
I’ll never forget the one time I visited Las Vegas. I was in town for a wedding and was awed by the amazing architecture. It seemed to me, at the time, that no expense was spared by the developers. But while Christians can admire the beautiful architecture of Vegas, we must admit that there is tremendous social cost to the seemingly innocent vice called gambling. When I was a pastor, I saw first-hand who the gambling industry preys on: the poor. Sure you have your high-stakes wealthy who drop lots of money, but mountains of social research have documented the troubling social costs of gambling. Really the only ones who win, when a casino comes into your town, are the business-owners and the local governments. And sadly, those local governments end up paying out more in social benefits over the long haul. Families, the poor, and communities suffer greatly.
The most painful experience in life is being seriously and deliberately harmed by someone else.
Car crashes, even fatal ones, are accidents; no one sets out to deliberately injure or kill with their car. Cancer is also an impersonal attacker, an internal cellular malfunction.
But when someone willfully abuses us – verbally, physically, financially, emotionally – that feels altogether different. That pushes our pain levels off the scale and can feel worse than the most serious physical injuries or diseases.
It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t a malfunction. Someone purposely decided to wrong and damage us. There’s a personal choice, a human will, behind the pain.
That’s searing agony.