Have you ever had the thought, “Maybe I’m doing Bible study all wrong?!?”
I feel you, friend! I have been there and can confirm that the struggle is real.
It’s far too easy to feel discouraged, overwhelmed, intimidated by, or just plain confused when we open our Bibles.
Would you believe me if I told you there could be a certain type of interaction with the Bible that will work for YOU?
Just envision how it would feel to move into a renewed sense of discovery every time you engage with the Bible.
From uncomfortable to comfortable.
From intimidated to confident.
From discouragement to excitement.
In this article, I will share some simple ways to help you overcome these challenges and connect with the Bible.
First, I will share three steps to help you effectively and enjoyably interact with Scripture. Then, I will offer a simple starting point in your new journey to a better Bible reading experience.
And finally, I will share the details about an exciting new (and totally free) 7-day Bible study from Living by Design Ministries.
You don’t want to miss this!
Step 1: Create the Right Atmosphere
I’d like you to take a few moments to consider your surroundings or ambiance.
Where do you prefer to engage God’s Word? Is it cozying up in your favorite living room chair? Or do you like to have your books and journals sprawled over the kitchen table?
Do you prefer the solitude in your car before work? Perhaps you enjoy the company of others, or a” book club” type discussion group where you can learn from other people.
What about a coffee shop or a park bench? Speaking of parks, do you connect with the Bible outdoors in God’s creation?
Curating the right atmosphere will increase your chances of having a positive experience with the Bible.Curating the right atmosphere will increase your chances of having a positive experience with the Bible.
The right atmosphere is more than just a place; it’s a way to design your Bible study experience for ultimate connection.
You can create the right atmosphere to engage God’s word by utilizing your senses and time.
- Set out to find your sensory cues.
What sights, smells, tastes, or sounds invigorate and inspire you? It is proven that the more senses you engage while completing a task, the more you will remember and enjoy an experience.
- Select the right Bible.
What kind of Bible are you using? There are many beautiful and contemporary journaling Bibles, Study Bibles, and illustrated Bibles to choose from.
- Utilize music to set the mood.
What type of music do you love? Create a playlist of your favorite worship songs that signal to your body and mind that it is time to meet with God.
Step Two: Select the Right Time/Setting
Now that you have given attention to your atmosphere and your senses let’s think about time.
Perhaps your home is a little too hectic with young children around. Can you make time before the family is awake or after they are asleep?
How about learning together with your family by memorizing a song filled with Scripture?
You may choose to multitask by listening to the Bible while completing a chore. Consider setting a timer to help your mind focus while connecting to God’s Word.
You may never get into the Bible if you wait for the perfect setting.
But if you are determined to make your experience the best it can be, this small intentionality will make a difference in your overall concentration and your ultimate enjoyment.
Step Three: Recognize your Learning Style
Simply said, the better you know yourself and how God specifically designed you, the more deeply you can connect with Him through that natural design.
Are you an auditory, visual, or sensory learner?
- “The Listener” will connect best through audio readings and podcasts.
- “The Viewer” will connect with visual stimuli and graphics.
- “The Sensor” will enjoy a multi-sensory, tactile experience.
Are you an active, creative, or reflective learner?
- “The Experiencer” enjoys dynamic hands-on learning. Serving and teaching fall into this category.
- “The Innovator” brings their Bible connection to life in artistic and imaginative ways, such as Bible art journaling or writing lyrical music to scripture.
- “The Philosopher” enjoys the slower study of Scripture with thoughtful ponderings and reflective writing.
Now that we talked about knowing what kind of learner you are, let’s also look at how you process information.The better you know yourself and how God specifically designed you, the more deeply you can connect with Him through that natural design.
Are you an internal, verbal, or relational processor?
- “The Thinker” prefers to engage with God’s word alone, often in solitude.
- “The Expressor” prefers to talk about what they are learning in scripture with others.
- “The Connector” finds a deep connection when the Bible comes to life in stories of others or their own human experience.
While you may not fit neatly into each category, the important thing is to know yourself and find what engagement styles work for you.
Embrace a Fresh Perspective & Enjoy a New Start
“How I love Your instruction! It is my meditation all day long.” Psalm 119:97 HCSB
This Psalm tells us two things.
- We have to interact with God’s word in order to love it.
- The experience of loving God’s word will lead us to further interaction with it.
No matter where you choose to start, a fresh beginning is waiting for you.
There is likely a form of Bible study, engagement, interaction, connection, or meditation, as the Psalmist says, that fits your needs.
This is an invitation to start anew; I am here to assure you that it works and it is easy to implement.
My simple challenge for you today is to pick up your Bible—whether it is covered in dust-deep within a drawer, or on an app on your phone.No matter where you choose to start, a fresh beginning is waiting for you.
Find a quiet place to sit awhile and read/pray through Psalm 119:9-16.
Prayer is the foundation upon which we will engage with God’s Word and meet God in His Word.
This prayer can be a simple, genuine request asking God to minister to your heart so that your time with Him will be fruitful and meaningful.
Ask Him to show you what you need to do to create an atmosphere and setting that will help you draw near to Him.
Ask Him to help you find tools that will teach you the truth of Scripture in a way that you can effectively process and learn.
Then commit to the process of faithfully connecting with God through consistent Bible Study.
If you are unsure where to start, I encourage you to check out Living by Design’s New 7-day study on the Beatitudes. This study looks like a great tool to help jumpstart your Bible study routine, and it is packed with digital tools to help every kind of learner engage with Scripture.
Whatever Bible study method you choose, there is love to be found for this Holy Book.
Every time you choose to read your Bible, you take a positive step in your relationship with God.
I hope I encouraged you today to give your Bible a second glance while remembering this important but simple concept: HOW you engage with God’s Word MATTERS.
There is a living God within these pages who cannot wait to meet with you.
-Kelly R. Baum
Kelly R. Baum is an author, wife, and mother from northern New Jersey. Her first books “Gracefully CHIC: A Boutique Bible Guide” and “The Chic Mindset Journal” are available on Amazon. She inspires her readers to find remarkable beauty in God’s design, both within His story and within themselves. Visit her website to learn more about her work & connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.