As we continue our series on discipleship, let’s think about how we are leading women to life change. (Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4.) Encouraging and teaching women to be in the Word of God is essential. This includes helping them learn to experience the Word in a way that impacts their every decisions, words, and actions.
So, how do we do that? Let me share with you 3 methods and examples I’ve learned from wise Bible teachers. The method you choose is not as important as the fact that by having a plan, you will begin providing accountability for the women you lead. You will also help women find a way that suits them best for reading and applying Scripture.
Method 1: H.E.A.R. (Highlight, Explain, Apply, Respond)
Robby Gallaty at Replicate Ministries uses this method to create an atmosphere to hear God speak.
- Highlight. Highlight a verse that stands out. Write out the name of book, chapter, verse, and a word to describe the passage.
- Explain. Look at what the text means. Context is vital: What is before and after? Why was it written, In this passage, what is being communicated? What does the text mean? Write a short summary.
- Apply. Ask questions like: How can this help me? What does this mean today? What does application of this verse look like in my life?
- Respond. This is a call to action. It is present tense and active voice. It answers the question, “How will my life change as a result of reading this passage?”
Method 2: Hide, Honor, Help
- Hide (memorize). Get into the Word until the Word gets into you. Jesus is the physical expression of the Word of God (John 1, John 14). Saturate your mind by meditating on Scripture (Psalm 1), and renew your mind with the truth (Romans 12:2). The study of God’s Word is like making a cup of tea—the longer a tea bag is placed in the water, the stronger the tea. In this same way, the longer we spend in His Word, the stronger we become. And one other thing: Always recite the reference before and after the verse you are memorizing.
- Honor (pray). Luke 11 is the only time the disciples ask Jesus for instruction for a specific activity. They knew prayer is the source of all things. There are two kinds of prayer: private prayer (like a prayer log or journal, praying to to emulate the character of God, praying for those close to you, and praying Scripture) and partnership prayer (pray expectantly: Mark 9:24 and James 4:2)
- Help (obey). The word Christian is only found 3 times in the Bible. In contrast, the word disciple is found 269 times in the New Testament, with 238 of those times appearing in the Gospels. Our purpose is to know God, not just gain knowledge about Him.
Method 3: Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process, Prayer
Jen Wilkin, author of the Bible study, Sermon on the Mount, and the book, Women of the Word, teaches Bible study using these main thoughts about what to look for when studying a passage so that we understand His Word more fully.
- Purpose. What is the purpose of this passage? Where does this book of the Bible fit in the overarching story of the gospel.
- Perspective. Who wrote this book? When was it written? To whom was it written? What style of writing is this? Why was it written?
- Patience. We must be patient with ourselves, the process, and the challenges of learning. It’s necessary to first study the passage and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. This should happen before poring over commentaries for additional help.
- Process. Look at the passage through 3 steps: comprehension, interpretation, and application. Comprehension looks at what the passage says, cross references, paraphrases, and commentary (after studying the passage). Interpretation helps us think about what this passage says about God, how it changes our views of ourselves, and how we should respond. Application is praying about how to fully obey what we’ve discovered and then actually beginning to obey.
- Prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your study. This not just an intellectual pursuit; it is communing with Lord. Pray before studying, pray as you study, and pray after studying.
We’ve looked at 3 methods for studying and applying truth to our lives from God’s Word. Watch for more methods in Part 6.