As a church family we have had times in which we’ve encouraged everyone to read a particular section of the Bible together. I think that a community engaging God’s Word together in sync can be a powerful experience. However, I’ve had a number of people who have told me that they desire to engage the Bible, but they despise reading and struggle to stay focused and understand what is going on in the text.
These conversations led our teaching team to develop audio devotions. For the past couple years we have done audio devotionals through a book of the Bible. In 2015 we walked with Jesus through the book of Luke in the New Testament. This is the story of Jesus and his life, death and resurrection. In the first part of 2016, we walked with the Spirit through the book of Acts in the New Testament. This is the story of the first followers of Jesus (the church) as they were sent out into the world to share the good news of Jesus. These audio devotions were well received and hundreds of people regularly listened and went through a book of the Bible together.
The basics of the audio devotional are:
- We break a book of the Bible into sections to read and reflect on each day.
- We have a variety of Watermarkers who participate in putting together these audio devotionals.
- Each devotional includes a reading of the section of Scripture that day, some comments to better understand what is going on, a personal reflection on the impact of the text, and a closing prayer. They are typically around 10 min (although I have been known to stretch it to 13 min…. sorry).
- Monday-Friday we upload a new devotional for that day and it can be downloaded from a variety of sources.
The benefits of the audio devotional have been:
- People, who are not big into reading, are learning the story of the Bible.
- We are all on the same page about what we are reflecting on. There is a sense of unity.
- Our church family’s vision and values can spring forth from different moments in the text.
- It provides people an opportunity to grow in studying the text and teaching it.
- The additional background helps people, new to the Bible, understand more of the text.
Anyways, I have really enjoyed helping put these audio devotions together. They have been incredibly impacting for me personally. We’ve had a lot of people ask us to do more. So, we decided to go through the book of Nehemiah with audio devotions this Summer. We are calling it, “Building with God through Nehemiah.” We will start it Monday, July 4th.
- We wanted to do an Old Testament book. We’ve done a lot of New Testament study lately and decided going through an Old Testament book would be beneficial.
- Nehemiah is a book that covers helpful themes that apply to our faith family. It deals with change, courage, leadership, dealing with challenging people, and pursuing a mission. Our church family is in the process of preparing for launching a new site and this text will be helpful in this time of transition.
- Nehemiah is a bit shorter and we can walk through it quickly for part of the Summer. We will skim through some long lists of names that are difficult to pronounce. 🙂