Earlier this year I started a Discovery Bible Study for my friends. We meet at Piper’s by the Lake, 10.30 am every Tuesday, for coffee.
Some of my friends aren’t available each week because they work shifts. So I’ve kept the structure simple. Come whenever you can, enjoy good company, read the Bible together, have lively discussion, improve your English and invite others.
I chose the venue. Piper’s by the Lake, deliberately. It is one of the common meeting places in Ballarat where people enjoy a coffee or a meal. In other words I wanted our Discovery Bible happening in the “marketplace”, not a local church or a home.
Recently a second group started in Central Square, another marketplace in Ballarat. This group started reading the Seven Stories of Hope while our group recently started a series on the parables. Last week we read Luke 15, which contains the stories of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son.
After the reading we address five questions, “What do you like about this passage or story?”, What does this story tell us about people?”, “What does this story tell us about God?”, “What does this story tell us about me?” and finally, “Who needs to hear this story?”
The simple structure, a public venue, a Bible reading and five questions, is purposeful. It is easy to replicate, and as mentioned a second group has already been established.
Because people aren’t always able to attend I send our a text message with the Bible reading, usually the Sunday beforehand so that they can keep up to date.
It has been interesting and encouraging to see the various people who have associated themselves with the group.
I forgot to mention that two of my friends have been meeting in Shepparton, another regional centre in Victoria. That’s three groups. How many more?
Currently I’m writing this blog in one of the several food courts in Stockland Village. Another public place ideal for a Discovery Bible Study.
It’s time! The church needs to move more and more into the marketplace.
Recently Paul, in support of the Discovery Bible Study initiative, began attending our group. My next post is a copy of his reflections following the State Youth Games where several thousand young people were engaged in a long weekend of “competitive” sporting events.