A Discipleship Experience for Spring 2014
A Schedule for the Journey
Click to download our Reading Schedule
Video Reflections and Questions for the Journey:
A Word from the Discipleship Council
Baptists have long confessed that every believer has the freedom and responsibility to read and interpret scripture. We believe each person, in Christian community with Holy Spirit guidance, can encounter the story of God's interaction with humanity throughout history. Encountering that story allows each person to better understand his/her place in the narrative God is weaving. We recognize encountering and engaging God's word makes us more attune to the work of God in and around us. We know reading the Bible is a formative and transformative experience. It does not take seminary training or a library of commentaries to have one's life changed by reading the Bible.
Further, I would suggest the churches which are making the greatest impact on the world today are those in which the people read the Bible. Let me be clear: I did not say the churches with the most in-depth Bible study opportunities or quality, exegetical preaching (as important as those may be). I said the churches wherein people are actually reading the Bible. According to a recent Barna poll, 80% of Americans think the Bible is sacred; yet, 57% read their Bible only four times a year or less!
With all this in mind, the Discipleship Council would like to introduce you to a 16-week discipleship emphasis starting this month. We are calling it "The Gospel According to John".
Each week we invite you to read a short, manageable section of the gospel of John together as a church family. You will also be invited to share in the honest questions and video reflections of other ordinary, First Baptist people like you, as each of us encounters scripture for ourselves. This is not about deep theological insights of experts. It is about you taking the next step in engaging the Bible. It is about us embracing our identity as church of people who read the Bible.
We want everyone connected to First Baptist to be a part of this - whether you are a seasoned Bible scholar or new to the faith, a child or a senior adult, whether you follow a regular Bible reading plan or cannot remember the last time you picked your Bible up. We invite you to join us on this sixteen week journey as we read the Bible together.
Why the Gospel According to John? As one early Church father put it, "The Gospel of John is deep enough for an elephant to swim and shallow enough for a child not to drown." Wherever you are in your faith journey John's gospel will bring you encouragement and challenge. For this reason it is the perfect place for us to begin this journey of encountering scripture together. We pray you will join us.
Ben Winder, Minister to Youth
Staff Liaison, Discipleship Council