One of the books that I have been recommending a lot to students recently is “Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods” by… Rick Warren. In the book, Rick gives 12 different ways for us to dig into scripture. It is the perfect book for a student who wants to switch things up with their time in the Bible. The methods are:
1. Devotional- Meditate on a short piece of scripture and then find a personal life application for it.
2. Chapter Summary- Read a chapter of the Bible at least five times and then write down your thoughts about it.
3. Character Quality- Pick a character trait that you would like to have/grow in, then look at and study what the Bible says about it. Find out how you can apply that to your life!
4. Thematic- This is one of my favorites! Start by picking some theme of the Bible and write down a few questions you have about them and try to answer them by looking up the theme in various areas of the Bible.
5. Biographical- Choose a character from the Bible and read all that you can about them. Take notes about their traits and character and see how you can apply them to your own life.
6. Topical- Organize a list of scripture about a certain topic. Put it into an outline from that you’d be able to share with another person.
7. Word Study- Choose an important word from the Bible and see how it is used and how many times it comes up. Go and find out what the original meaning of the word is!
8. Book Background- With the use of Bible reference books, study the historical context of a book of the Bible to understand how the history affected the meaning.
9. Book Survey- Read an entire book of the Bible several times to get a good idea on what the book is about and then study the background of the book and take notes.
10. Chapter Analysis- Take a careful look at one particular chapter of the Bible. Take it apart word-by-word, verse-by-verse.
11. Book Synthesis- After you’ve used the Book Survey Method and the Chapter Analysis Method on every chapter of the book, summarize the contents and the main themes of a book.
12. Verse Analysis- Select a passage of Scripture and examine it in detail by asking questions, finding cross-references, and paraphrasing each verse. Record a possible application of each verse you study
I love this book because there is really something in here for everyone, no matter if they are in high school or seminary! Each method is unique in its approach and in its complexity. The methods are organized from simple to complex, so I usually advise that students start in the front and work their way back. So far, students have loved this book! It has helped many of them get out of their quiet time “slumps” because it shakes up the way that they have gotten used to looking at scripture. It is perfect for a student that is looking at taking their time in the Bible to the next level!
Some people that often hit “slumps” are college freshmen. This could be a really great gift for some of your recent graduates!
What is a resource that you have been giving your students recently?
Colton Harker is the Student Leadership Director at Saddleback HSM. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter at @ColtonHarker.