Bible Study Boot Camp

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in Bible study | 2 comments

An emerging trend around my community for fitness buffs and people wanting a jump-start into fitness has been a concentrated workout shared among friends with a personal trainer cross-training the group for several days and/or weeks at a time.  They call it Boot Camp.  It’s tough.  It’s intense.  It’s a challenge.  But, those who stick with it feel a renewed sense of energy and commitment to keep moving ahead with a lifestyle that incorporates exercise as a habit rather than an occasional whim fulfillment.

The results are good and the benefits, too, as long as the members keep up some form of exercise that challenges them.  Keeping it up is important.

Yesterday, I introduced the comparison of physical fitness to that of biblical fitness with the acronym, “FIT.”  Click here to read yesterday’s post as I covered the “F” – Frequency.

The “I” in FIT is for, “Intensity.”

There is a verse that reminds me of the importance of getting off the couch, so to speak, to get moving in Bible study.  As a mom, this passage means even more as I made sure to move our children along from bottles to solid food in order to get the nutrients they needed as they had the ability to progress.

Here’s the verse:

“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” – Hebrews 5:12 (NLT)

So what is intensity like for one who wants a nudge to study the Bible?

The new believer needs to go through a discipleship-type study like the one the Navigators have here called, “Design for Discipleship.  Ideally, having someone to teach you one on one through this would be great.  A few summers ago, I went back through the series and it is a great foundation for all believers.

There are so many Bible studies in written and video form available, I know it can get overwhelming to try to choose one.  If you’re belonging to a group study, you are at the mercy of the leader, which should take a load off your mind.

My personal suggestion is to learn to study the Bible inductively.  So many authors today have done all the inductive work for the student so that Bible studies are more fill-in-the blank.  In exercise terms, that’s like going for a 15-minute low-impact walk expecting the results from a 45-minute walk day after day.  It has its value and is a great way to get in the Bible study habit, so I’m not knocking it.

Eventually, I have wearied of the monotony of this.  I don’t feel very challenged.  Quite frankly, I don’t remember much from this type of study.  After a while, I grow bored with it.  I think that’s the Holy Spirit saying it’s time to progress from milk.  In exercise terms, it’s time to increase the intensity and go from low-impact to moderate impact.

Finding a study that encourages you to look up the verses and grasp the context of the verse in its setting is important to grow you up to maturity.  Knowing how and where to find verses to cross-reference other verses is important, too, in honing your study skills.

Finally, a higher-impact Bible study is a goal to shoot for, where you have learned good Bible study skills that you can incorporate in personal Bible study as well as corporate study opportunities.  In a study like this, you are taking large passages of Scripture and digging deep into the passages looking at key words, discovering word meanings in their original translation, and pushing through to applying the foundational underlying truth to your life.  You as a student do the inductive study rather than the study author having done all this for you.

In my experience, I learn more to apply from the higher-impact studies than from the lower-impact ones where the author tells me how to apply it.

The various levels of Bible study “exercise” have their places, though, in the believer’s life.  At the right time, you will know when it’s time to move forward.

Just as someone new to exercise wouldn’t run a marathon within 24 hours of starting an exercise routine, someone new to Bible study needs to start at the appropriate level that provides enough challenge to keep her going and coming back for more.

As strength in the area of studying builds, a progression towards more intensity should take place through the years.

Monday, I’ll cover the T with you.

Tomorrow, I have the privilege of being a guest and posting on a friend’s blog.  Come back so you can find me at Kelli Williams Wommack’s Unwrapping the Gifts of God when I post on “Presence-filled Friday”.

Encouragement:

Find that study today.  So what if they have begun and are a few weeks into it?  Just start right where they are today and move forward.  Call your church or ask a friend where to locate a study and show up.  If you want to come to one of mine here in Columbus, GA, find that information by clicking here.

 
Opportunity for Response:
Share in a comment what and where you are currently studying.  Also, share what drew you to that study and why you keep going back.  Thanks!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Amy,

    I just found your old site and followed it to your new site. The new site looks great! Thanks for your love for God’s word. It’s fun to hear.

    May God bless your ministry greatly!

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

  2. Jennifer,

    I am so glad you found the old site and the updated one too. I do love God’s Word and hope all who stop in will be inspired to open it regularly and dig deep for all the rich treasures there.

    Blessings to you!

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