“The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“Over the long haul, strong Christians are created not by sermons and by books alone, but by a personal encounter with the Word of God, the Bible itself.” –John Piper
What is the Summer Bible Jam?
Summer Bible Jam is an annual quest that we take as a church that is intended to strengthen personal Bible reading and to deepen our love for and enjoyment of the Scriptures. As pastors we believe strongly in the preaching of God’s Word and we often recommend various books and resources—but there is no substitute for what takes place in our lives, when we personally encounter God through His revealed Word! Without a personal study and prayer life, we simply will not grow sufficiently in our discipleship.
The Summer Bible Jam is designed to encourage personal Bible reading as well as believers getting together to discuss what they’re reading in Scripture and how that is impacting their lives. Since we don’t just want to read the Bible but read it effectively, we’ve also dedicated Sundays in the summer to preaching through Scripture in a way that teaches people how to meaningfully interact with Scripture.
The Summer Bible Jam includes these elements:
- Personal Bible reading and study
- Discipleship groups (2-3 people that you choose)
- Sunday sermons
This Year: Drawing Near to God
Last year’s Summer Bible Jam was about God’s Big Picture, helping us to grasp the overall storyline of the Bible and how the individual stories of our lives fit in that Gospel storyline. While last year’s study had us “zoom out” to the big picture, this year we will “zoom in” and seek to receive all that we can from smaller portions of Scripture. The theme is Drawing Near to God. As we’ve seen from our study of the Tabernacle, all of Scripture is leading us to encounter the presence of God. We’ll seek to learn how to extract meaning from Scripture and meditate on it in a way that leads us into prayer and encounters with the Lord.
The Summer Bible Jam kicks-off on June 11, and then starting on June 18 our Sunday Sermons will model how to read and think about Scripture in a way that puts the conditions of our hearts in contact with God’s burden in the text. The Bible is one book made up of many books, and these books are written in different literary styles, called genres. Each Sunday we’ll preach from a different genre of Scripture, discuss how to read and interpret that genre, and lead us in meditating on and praying out of a portion of Scripture in that genre. Here are the types of Scripture we will be drawing from:
- Wisdom Literature
- Historical Narrative
Personal Reading & Meditation
Each Sunday, there will be a Weekly Assignment provided for reading and meditation during the coming week. Sometimes this reading assignment will follow what was preached on Sunday; other times it will include other passages of Scripture written in the same genre. Some weeks the assignment will be to read the same passage every day, while other weeks will trace the flow of a book or of a Biblical character’s story.
The goal will not be simply to read the assignment but to draw content from Scripture that finds access to your soul and helps you to see God. See our Resource Booklet and Field Manual for help with this.
You’ll choose your own discipleship group with 2-3 other people and meet either weekly or every-other-week to discuss what you’re experiencing in God’s Word, and to pray together out of what you are seeing in Scripture.