Three years of ministry in Salt Lake City introduced me to a whole group of people who had a deep mistrust for the Bible. In their experience the Bible had been used as a tool to manipulate, control and confuse. As a small group and women’s ministry leader I met so many women who had a deep desire to grow in their relationship with Jesus and yet struggled with engaging in the word of God.
How can you grow in your faith if you have a mistrust for the Bible?
I think this question is one that applies to most Christ-followers, whether brand new to the faith or decades in and possibly finding yourself stagnant. Growing in faith and time in the Word are synonymous; and yet why is it that we often find ourselves doing anything and everything but diving into our Bibles?
Perhaps it’s for the exact same reason that we sometimes lean into our own human ability to control rather than allowing the Spirit to lead and guide us. How guilty am I of wanting to control outcomes and even the day-in and day-out of my life? How many times have I actually said, “I’ve done everything I can do, now I’ll just pray.” What if I started with prayer and then did whatever needed to be done? What if I started with the Word and followed with action?
In doing life and engaging with people who openly struggled with opening their Bibles and yet had a heart for God I discovered the intrinsic need for all people to be able to approach their Bibles with confidence and capability. Gaining confidence in reading the Bible is something that often needs to be learned. This learning takes time and patience, but is so worthwhile.
A couple summers ago a friend of mine approached me in a coffee shop and suggested that we create a Bible study that would help build women’s confidence in reading their Bibles. Our desire was that they could open their Bibles to any book and begin deconstructing what they were reading. Out of that desire our Bible study “For Such a Time as This” was born. After running through the study with our small group the greatest feedback was “I wish there were a study guide that had these materials in it, but that could be used as a companion tool with any book of the Bible and any Bible study.
Out of that concept the Deconstructed: Bible Study Guide was born. Deconstructed strips away additional commentary and provides a path to growing in confidence and understanding of the Bible. It helps break down what exactly the Bible is, who wrote its 66 books, what type of literature they are, and why it is important to understand them.
When I embarked on the hefty task of writing the content for Deconstructed I became overwhelmed and uneasy. Who on earth was I to think that I could carry out such a sacred task? My sweet husband, who is a Pastor and just finished his master’s degree in Systematic and Philosophical Theology—say that three times fast—tried to help me get started. He gave me one of his theology books setting it onto my desk with a heavy thud. I cried, “I’m not a theologian!” I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the book he gave me; it was 4-inches thick!
The overwhelming size of that book reminded me who I was writing Deconstructed for. It’s not a guide for the theologian or seminary grad; I was writing it for myself and for my friends, who just like me can struggle with knowing and understanding the word of God. We need something simple and easy to digest over a cup of coffee. Deconstructed is for anyone who has found themselves stuck or hung up on something in the Bible. It is an incredibly simple tool that even a child could use. My 9-year-old has read a lot of it and approves!
Everything about Deconstructed is simple, from the terminology to the tools. I want anyone to reads this little guide to walk away with a newfound confidence to discover the Word of God on their own. The Bible is not supposed to be some mystical book only for the hands of priests and pastors, this sacred book is for all of us. With that in mind, all of us should have the ability to understand what is in those sacred pages. Through understanding comes confidence, through confidence comes trust, and through trust a deeper and richer faith in God.
***Free Gift: For Such a Time as This Materials, use and modify for your own small groups!
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