This is your invitation to lead those under your care into the presence of God and to a transformed life by teaching them to engage and respond to God in “The Daily Text."
Because the Bible is the “core curriculum in the most demanding of all schools, the School of the Holy Spirit” there is no better way for us to help our people know God than by getting the words of God deep into the interior of their lives. Perhaps the best way for us to help those we lead into a meaningful conversation with God is getting them into the text and learning to listen for the Spirit of Jesus; then helping them courageously say “yes" to him.
This new year you can lead your people to better hear and respond to God in his word.
On January 1, 2016, we began posting daily scripture readings on the homepage of the Alliance Northwest website. This Bible reading plan takes us through the Bible in two years, and the Psalms twice, in six days a week (as there are no new texts for Sundays). Obviously, this isn’t the only option; if you Google “bible reading plans” you’ll see tons of other options. The big idea here is to help your people learn how to engage our Father in the text in a daily ongoing conversation--to truly develop the mind of Jesus--and to walk in the Spirit.
Here are a few ideas to prime the pump as you begin to brainstorm ways to help guide those you shepherd into a renewed commitment to regular conversation with God in “The Daily Text:”
1. Pray about this one! If you choose to lead in this direction, then...
2. Consider starting the year with a 4-week series of talks leading and teaching people to hear and respond to God in the text. (Then prayerfully plow through your own library, resources on-line, and talks from good communicators to get your creative juices flowing. Tell tons of stories about how people are learning to hear and respond to God in the text whenever you’re with your people. Perhaps have a 3-minute testimonial every week during the first quarter of the year at your worship gatherings.)
3. Think about previewing the idea of “The Daily Text” with your church family through the remainder of the year with the invitation to begin listening to God in the text together as the new year begins.
4. Order Wayne Corderio's book, “The Divine Mentor.” This great and easy-to-read book provides a simple plan that can help you do suggestion #2. This book is super practical and helpful; and could also be used to help you lead your staff, board, and ministry teams to walk in the Spirit.
5. Consider leading your staff/team to join you in “the daily text” and hold a standing 20-minute meeting to start your day together. Begin by inviting team members to briefly share what jumped out from the text (for them) that morning; then move to one sentence prayer needs on major issues/people in the church; then break up into groups of two to pray for each other and the church family. (This has been a transforming practice for the Field Office Staff!!)
6. Order and read “Eat This Book” by Eugene Peterson. Perhaps the best book written on reading the bible. This one will invite/challenge you to go deeper in your own personal friendship with God, and provide a ton of “starter” ideas for talks.
7. All this said, we do not recommend you lead others to do this unless you are personally habitually in the text yourself--not with the intent of preparation--but to develop a deep friendship with God by listening to what He’s asking you to believe and do. (Someone once said something about a pupil--that when he’s fully trained will be like his master. Saying one thing and doing another doesn’t produce much fruit.)
8. Be reminded often of G.K. Chesterton's words: “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”