14 Great Ways to Engage with God’s Word
Do you know that Bible Gateway has a dedicated page for different Scripture engagement methods? Provided by Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement (@TaylorU_CSE) , the Bible Engagement section offers ways that Scripture can be interacted with that might allow us to more openly receive God’s words and, therefore, come to know him better. If you’re unfamiliar with this section of the website, here’s a guide to how it works.
Following is a list of the different engagement methods and how they work. Take the time to discover more about these creative ways to dive into the Word!
The Bible is full of stories—God uses stories to reveal himself to us. Timelining is a way to fit the stories of the Bible together in a unified way, which you can learn more about in this video discussion. Or you can take a look at this creative visualization of Holy Week.
2. Storying Scripture
It can help us to engage the Bible if we see the Bible as a story with many parts that all come together into one understandable whole. There are even Bible translations—like the Voice and The Story Bible—that attempt to relate Scripture as a story. We can think of the whole Bible as one large story or meta-narrative portrayed as a drama/play in six acts, which are outlined in detail here by Taylor University.
3. Dramatizing Scripture
Drama helps us to engage both our minds and emotions. Sometimes truth becomes clearer and takes on more meaning when it is fleshed out through a dramatic presentation. With dramatization, you can take one more step beyond seeing the Bible as a Story and actually consider acting out parts of Scripture. You can watch an example of Scripture being acted out here.
4. Lectio Divina
One Scripture engagement technique that has a long and rich history, and that has been experiencing resurgence in recent years, is lectio divina.
Latin for “sacred reading” or “holy reading,” this is a method of celebrating and immersing yourself in a set of words or verses in the Bible. It recognizes the Bible as the Living Word of God, and involves highly intentional reading and contemplation.
5. The Ignatian Method
The Ignatian method of Scripture engagement gives us the opportunity to engage our imaginations by placing ourselves in the stories of Scripture in an attempt to better empathize with the people of the Bible and understand the stories in a more experiential way.
6. Praying Scripture
Praying the Scriptures allows you to use the words and emotions of the Bible to gain more confidence in your prayers. What do we mean when we say to “pray scripture?” Evan Howard (Praying the Scriptures) writes, “To pray the Scriptures is to order one’s time of prayer around a particular text in the Bible.” This can mean either praying the prayers of the Bible word-for-word as your own prayers, personalizing portions of the Scriptures in prayer, or praying through various topics of the Bible.
7. Scripture Memorization
Memorizing Scripture is one of the most effective means of Scripture engagement. Because Scripture engagement is about reflecting on the Bible and mulling a passage over in our minds, having a passage memorized makes the process of reflection available to us at all times. Memorized Scripture allows us to dwell continuously on a passage throughout the day. Here are some tips on how to memorize Scripture passages.
8. Singing Scripture
There must be many reasons why God uses singing/music so extensively in believers’ lives. Two reasons that readily connect to Scripture engagement are that singing can be a form of Scripture meditation and that singing can help us to memorize Scripture. If music is your gift, read more here.
9. Journaling Scripture
Journaling through Scripture is distinct from journaling to record daily life.
Journaling Scripture helps us to reflect on a passage, focusing our minds and helping us concentrate. This is a method that’s become popular recently too.
10. Hand Copying Scripture
Distinct from journaling Scripture, hand copying Scripture is simply writing out word-for-word passages of Scripture by hand. Writing the Bible out by hand offers us the unique opportunity to participate in an activity that forces us to slow down the process of reading and encourages a more reflective engagement with God’s Word. Here are a few tips.
11. Scripture Engagement Through Visual Art
From the very first verse of Scripture, God reveals himself as the Creator, an Artist. Read more about the rich history of biblical visual art here.
12. Speaking Scripture
The focus of speaking Scripture as a method of engaging with God’s Word is that it’s a communal activity. Another title for this method might be “Conversing Scripture.” Research on Scripture engagement done at the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement found a very strong correlation between higher levels of Spiritual growth and more conversations with friends about Scripture.
13. Manuscript Bible Study
Those that practice Manuscript Bible Study remove all chapter and verse numbers, section headings, and footnotes from a passage in an attempt to eliminate all distractions. The desire is to see the passage in its original form. You can set your Bible Gateway settings to remove the modern formatting by clicking the page options to the right of the Bible text.
14. Public Reading of Scripture
The Bible was meant to be read, and it was also meant to be heard. Here are some tips on how best to read the Bible in public.
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