I took my first steps with the Bible in Sunday school as an elementary student and, simultaneously, at home through family devotions. It was during this time that I got my first Bible and started reading for myself the words that I heard others teaching.
It was very special to have the opportunity to grow in my understanding of how to study the Bible. Through my participation in high school and college student ministries, I became familiar with a method known as Inductive Bible Study. Following this, as staff with EvaSUE (IFES movement in Ethiopia), I learnt an approach called the Manuscript Study Method.
People often ask me to name my favourite Scripture passages; however, there are no particular passages that I enjoy as such. Rather, different passages become relevant at different times in my life. Having said that, due to the frequency with which I have studied the first half of Mark’s gospel, I have grown to appreciate and cherish how Mark describes Jesus’ teachings on obedience. This is particularly true of the parable of the sower (or should we call it the parable of the soils?), which speaks to this gospel’s larger message of discipleship. Jesus’ teachings on this theme inspire me to see the daily, practical, and seemingly mundane aspects of discipleship.
When reflecting on the needs of and challenges for this generation of students as they seek to engage with the Scriptures, I have two main observations. First, I think this generation requires solid grounding and discipleship in their basic knowledge of the Bible – both its meta-narrative and the smaller portions. This point also ties in with how our churches are doing discipleship. Second, the generation responsible for equipping students to handle the Scriptures must lead by example, where it concerns application of the Word in our respective contexts.
Finally, I would like to share some of my goals for how I will continue to grow in the Scriptures. First, I want to consistently observe my own quiet time, during which I can study the Bible. Second, I should be an example to students in obeying what I read, preach and teach.
EvaSUE Scripture Engagement coordinator and member of the IFES Scripture Engagement global team