Earlier in the Summer I began a series looking at how a missional understanding of the Bible can influence the way we do small group Bible studies. (You can read the first post here: Making Bible Studies Missional – part one)
I have grown immensely from participating in Bible studies that dig into the biblical text with insightful questions and thoughtful points of application. But I am increasingly aware that this approach suits me because I am used to it and am accustomed to approaching written texts in this way. To what extent could we describe our Bible study approaches as reading comprehension? No bad thing but does it lead only certain people to an engagement with the text?
How accessible are our Bible studies to those not used to dealing with the written text, or who prefer not to?
What do you make of this statistic from the National Literacy Trust: ‘One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven year old’.
Making Bible studies missional isn’t just about making the content missional. It should be about making the experience missional as well.
One suggestion for how we might be able to shape our engagement with the Bible to be more appropriate and accessible for those who prefer not to deal with written texts is to develop practices that acknowledge the phenomenon of orality. On 18-23 November Redcliffe is hosting a course in Bible Storying. Check out the website for more details.