What is this booklet about?
The Word among us – that is the Bible around which we gather to listen to God. We believe in a God who speaks because he wants us to know him and his perspective on our world! His words are living and active among us as they speak relevantly into our various contexts and experiences today. The new IFES booklet takes us on a journey of rediscovering the precious gift of Scripture.
The Word among us – that is Jesus Christ, the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the centre of God’s revelation to us. The words of Scripture lead us to him. The new IFES booklet invites us to read the Bible in the context of a relationship – seeing Jesus and seeking an encounter with him through the written Word.
The Word among us – that raises the question of our response to God’s Word. We can keep this Word at a distance by not giving it much room. Or we can extend hospitality towards the Word, welcoming it as a part of our community, giving it space to shape our relationships and lives. The new IFES booklet invites us to strengthen and renew our embrace of the Word.
What is the content of this booklet?
The booklet consists of two parts which can be used independently of one another.
Part I: Cultivating a clear vision of Scripture Engagement. This part presents six core aspects of our interaction with God’s Word. Considering these can help us to broaden and deepen our overall understanding of Scripture engagement.
Part II: Reflecting on the impact of Scripture among us. This part provides questions which are designed to spark inspiring conversations. Reflecting on these questions can help us make necessary changes for renewal in our Scripture engagement.
In addition, you will find reflections on the place of Scripture engagement in the IFES Living Stones Vision, activity suggestions to help strengthen core aspects of Scripture engagement and ideas on how to become a catalyst for Scripture engagement in your context.
This resource is not a recipe book which gives all the answers. But it can start you off on a journey deeper into God’s Word by providing vision, stirring appetite, raising questions and pointing to possible steps forward.
What experiences have people had with this booklet?
A staff worker from GBU France used some of the booklet’s questions in a training session with students. She writes: “It led to very good discussions about our own motivation to engage with Scripture and how to get non-Christian students interacting with the Bible.”
A student from ABUB Brazil read the book and wrote: “I have been very edified by this little book. It has made me reconsider my commitment and love for the Bible and I want to share this with my Brazilian friends.”
The staff team of FES Malaysia spent a day together working through the second part of the booklet. Afterwards, the General Secretary said: “All staff agreed that it was an eye-opening evaluation of ourselves and how we engage students with Scripture. It helps us see where we are and where we need to go.”
How can you use this booklet?
The booklet itself includes suggestions as to how you can use it. I will here only highlight a few possibilities:
_You can start discussing the content in your student groups – either by focussing on just one small section of interest or looking broadly at the vision of Scripture engagement which this booklet communicates. The reflection questions in the second part of the booklet can open up inspiring conversations with little preparation.
_As a student movement, the staff team could be a good place to start. You can work through the booklet together using it to reflect on what you are experiencing in student ministry and how you can move forward in the area of Scripture engagement.
_Individual sections of the booklet can easily be included in other events and programmes. You can integrate them in longer prayer meetings or week-ends away as a student group. Or into training programmes and conferences of your national movement.
_You can also work through this booklet on your own. As you do so, do not only seek to grow personally in Scripture engagement, but also ask how you can encourage others to grow in this area. Introducing them to the booklet is one step you could take. We need ambassadors of God’s Word in our movements who help this generation of students to love, study, live and share this precious Word.
The booklet is available in English, French or Spanish – also online: https://scriptureengagement.ifesworld.org/the-word-among-us.