This post is a little different from what I usually write about, but I was thinking about how I use the Bible in my ministry and it led me to some intriguing thoughts.
Let me first say that I do not consider myself a theologian or a Bible scholar. Therefore, I don’t write this post with any sort of authority. I am merely a minister trying to think through things and come to some conclusions that make sense. With that said, just because this is what I am thinking now does not necessarily mean I won’t change my mind later. I am always open to challenging my own beliefs because that’s how I learn and grow.
I am not someone who takes the Bible literally. In fact, the Roman Catholic church does not take the Bible literally either. Some things we can consider fact. Others, we cannot consider fact.
As I study the Bible and use it for my ministry, I’ve discovered that there are 4 questions that I should ask when I read any particular passage or book.
- Who is God? What does the passage say about who God is? The Bible speaks clearly about God. So what is it saying to me in this time and place?
- Who are we? The Bible constantly speaks about God’s relationship with creation. The old and new testaments depict a God who desires a relationship with us. Even through the challenges and disappointments, God never gives up (even though I’m sure in some Bible stories God really wanted to give up). In light of God’s desire to connect with us, who are we? Who has he made us to be?
- What’s the relationship between the two? God created us. God does not leave us alone. There is a connection, just like there will always be a connection between my daughter and I. I helped create my daughter and she is undeniably forever a part of me. We are forever a part of God. So what is the relationship between us?
- So what? What is the scripture passage you are reading saying about your life right now? The Bible was written thousands of years ago for an audience that was different than us. However, just because it was written a long time ago doesn’t mean it does not have a connection to our lives today. What is the Bible calling us to today? How should our lives change because of what we have just read or studied?
There is a natural flow between these four questions. Next time you read through a passage of the Bible, sit down with these four questions. Once you read the passage, ask the questions and see what you come up with. I think you’ll find the answers to these questions quite intriguing.
Question: How do you use the Bible in your ministry?