Do you have questions about how Community Bible Experience might work for you and your church? Please check out our FAQ’s below, or contact us with any further questions you may have.
Has Community Bible Experience been designed to replace other forms of Bible reading/study?
Absolutely not. ‘Reading big’ is never a replacement for ‘digging deep’ or meditating on a few verses – it is complementary to them both. Each of us might be more familiar or comfortable with one style over another but we should never limit ourselves to one approach (or translation) when it comes to engaging with God’s word. We must immerse ourselves in the breadth and depths of this incredible gift from God.
What Community Bible Experience offers is an excellent opportunity for anyone at any stage of their journey to engage with the full picture of God’s story! This provides a great foundation and context for more detailed study of chapter and verse. It also helps develop a love for God’s word and his people. After all, whenever we study a book the first thing we do is read it – all of it – before digging down into the detail of key messages and characters.
There is a lot of reading involved – what if we fall behind?
If you’re not used to carving out time to read the Bible (or any other book), reading 12 pages a day might appear too big a challenge, but it is possible – even for non–readers. The support and accountability of your community group is hugely important and can help you get back on track if you’ve missed a few days – the free days over the weekend allow for this. However, if you fall behind significantly we would suggest that you jump to the page the rest of your group are on and read the section you missed at the end. You could also catch up using the mp3 audio. Also, if you have members of your groups for whom reading is difficult they may wish to go through the whole New Testament using the mp3. Using the audio is not a ‘cheat’ it is how most people have experienced the Bible for much of history.
Can it be used with non–Christians?
Very much so. Community Bible Experience is very well suited for use with non–Christians. The simple formatting of the text and book club style provides a non–threatening way for people who have never read God’s word to engage with His story and discuss it with others.
One of the videos available in our resource section – Jim’s Story – speaks of how a non–Christian husband and father came to faith through Community Bible Experience.
Can children get involved?
Community Bible Experience is designed so that the whole church can get involved. ‘The Books of the Bible for Kids’ editions are a fresh way for children to experience Scripture. Perfect for reading together as a family or in Sunday school. Using abridged text from the easy–to–read New International Readers Version this is ideal for ages 8–12. There is also The Books of the Bible: My Bible Story Colouring Book which is a great resource to help pre–schoolers engage with the Bible stories being read each week. You can also purchase a CD–ROM which includes full outline resources for all 4 books. Samples of these can be found on the resources section of our website.
What about young people?
We understand that the reading commitment may be a lot for teenagers to keep up with. At present there is not a youth edition of the books so we encourage them to use the adult editions or access the audio or eBook formats. We would still suggest that you make this an all age church programme and look for creative ways to get youth involved. One way is to get the youth involved in the multi–media side of your programme. Some churches have given their youth the task of recording a weekly video diary to record stories for the congregation as they read through the Bible. Other ideas include getting them to act or animate a short introduction to the weeks reading which can be used in the church service on a Sunday morning. Getting young people involved can be as creative as your youth leaders can make it.
What if we don’t think we can meet every week?
There is no doubt that small groups meeting weekly will cultivate the community aspect of Community Bible Experience most effectively. Encouragement, accountability and shared learning is vital to the campaign. Individuals or groups meeting less frequently will find this hard to replicate and it may have a negative impact on the overall Bible reading experience.
However, there is more than one way to achieve this. Several churches who didn’t have existing weekly small groups have come up with creative ways to address it and we would be more than happy to chat through what would work best for you. Also, as Community Bible Experience develops there will be new and exciting opportunities to use it in ways that may look a little different from the ‘traditional’ church small group and we would love to hear your ideas and feedback on this.
Why do you ask us to ‘sign up’?
Community is a fundamental part of Community Bible Experience. Listening to others, learning from their insights and being encouraged by them, is essential as we seek to read and live the Bible well. This is also true of building a movement of change more widely across the Church. We want to join with others as we further explore and develop Bible engagement that is both meaningful and transformative. We seek to provide tools for this journey, but this will only be possible if developed in relationship with churches and ministry providers on the ground. We hope to build these relationships as we serve the local church by subsidising the cost of resources and supporting leaders embarking on this journey.
Biblica would like to be part of your Community Bible Experience journey and signing up will give you access to our dedicated Community Bible Experience Co–ordinator. They will be able to answer your questions and keep in contact with you as you read through the Bible together.
We would also like to hear about your experience in reading thought the Bible together. Biblica’s passion is to help people read and engage with the Bible in a relevant and accessible way. Feedback from your church or group gives valuable information to ensure we are providing the best support and resource to help churches do that.