These past few weeks have been interesting to say the least. The learning curve has been quite steep, and if it were not for my previous experience and study of anatomy, physiology and nutrition, I don't think I could have passed the exams. It's not that they were particularly difficult, just that the time I've spent travelling to and from the gym hasn't left me much time for home study.
So what must it be like for those folk in our churches who commute everyday and upon whose shoulder we place the burden of Bible study? I say burden not because it's a tiresome weight to carry, although I wouldn't be surprised to hear it described that way, but because of the pressure it applies. It's hard enough to to get through and ordinary day without some sense of guilt over something, let alone adding a sense of failure because we're not reading our
Bibles and interrogating the text on a daily basis.
It's made me wonder again about how we can make the Bible accessible and engaging and yet avoid the extremes of either bit-sizing it to fit a busy lifestyle or making it unmanageable. It's a tough challenge and maybe it's a challenge that reflects on the role of preaching too.
I'm sure I'm repeating myself when I say that I think preaching should be inspirational all of the time. There is a place for teaching, no doubt about that, but our preaching should inspire people to go out and solve problems, address issues and live differently rather than look for alterations and keywords in texts. Perhaps our goal if we preach on a Sunday morning ought to be to give everyone one thought to ponder through the week. Something they can carry with them to turn over in their minds and figure out how to apply in their lives.
After my current course finishes, which should be Tuesday if I pass everything, I hope to take a little time to look at the principles of personal training and see what they have to say to the concept of discipleship. There are some interesting principles and parallels to be explored. Maybe I need to write a programme for getting spiritually healthy and spiritual fit while I write programmes for physical health and fitness.
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