I have been so fortunate to be able to be part of growing churches in challenging places to plant like Seattle, Los Angeles, and now in Austin. Over the years I have been able to train pastors in places where it is even more challenging! Their efforts inspire me!
Much of my training is now available at no cost. Just sign up for The Church Growth Workshop and my email newsletter for more at ericbryant.org.
Here are some of my favorite messages I have shared recently:
B.L.E.S.S. by Dave Ferguson is a great framework to help us as well.
- Begin with Prayer
- Eat or Engage
- Share Your Story
(free sample at ericbryant.org when you sign up for that free resource and my email newsletter)
We can learn how to Invest, Recruit, and Entrust from the wisdom of Jethro given to Moses.
More in my book Fruitful: Becoming Who God Created You To Be
(For an assessment and an overview go to ericbryant.org and sign up for that free resource and my email newsletter)
Also, consider these principles for understanding the Bible:
- The Bible is “a unified story that leads to Jesus” as described by The Bible Project, a great resource for understanding the Bible and the context of all 66 books.
- God’s presence is found in Eden at the Tabernacle then at The Temple then in Jesus then through the Body of Christ and finally when the New Heaven and New Earth appear at the end of all things. Notice in which part of the story you are reading to help determine the meaning of the passage.
- When you come across confusing or difficult passages, just know it may be cultural. Look at the context and the genre of literature (history, poetry, prophecy, letter, or apocalypse).
- Let the Scriptures interpret Scriptures. You can learn to understand the confusing passages with the clear ones.
- You can also learn to hold the tension of uncertainty and still trust God. Don’t throw out everything because you don’t understand one thing.
- Don’t just read the Scriptures, let the Scriptures read you!
- Start with reading about Jesus and then read everything through the lens of who Jesus is and who He revealed God to be.
- God is always speaking, we need to learn to listen. If we build our life on God’s Word to us through the Scriptures, we will be able to discern from the voices we hear – which are our own, which are from darkness, and which are from God.
- The Bible is filled with case studies. Some did great things. Some did evil things. We need to lean into God’s wisdom to discern the lesson He has for us.
- Remember the purpose of the Bible is to reveal God to us. It is not a fortune cookie, a rule book, a crystal ball, or an encyclopedia with all the answers. It is Hebrew meditation literature we are to take to God to wrestle with Him about the meaning and guidance on how to apply it to our lives.
Jesus explained to His disciples the purpose and meaning of the Scriptures like this:
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. – Luke 24:45-47 (NIV)