Monthly Archives: May 2016

72: Inward or Outward Focus?

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One of the most common criticisms of Simple Churches is that they can become inwardly focused. We can meet together with the same few people each week, but we seldom invite visitors to our fellowship. Growth is stagnant. Outreach to unbelievers is weak. In fact, many Christians seldom interact with an unbeliever from day to day. Gavin and Tom discuss ways for small groups and simple churches to turn their focus outward toward a broken world that needs Jesus.

71: How Do You Study Scripture In Your Church?

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How important is the study of scripture to the life of your simple church? How is it done in your group? Do you have a technique or a format that works well with your church? Tom and Gavin share a few methods of studying the scriptures that they recommend.

Here are some notes about some of the Bible study methods we discussed today:

Discovery Bible Study Questions

  1. What did you like best?
  2. What did you like least?
  3. What did you not understand?
  4. What did you learn about God?
  5. What do you personally need to do about it?
  6. Who will you share this with? (or what do you want to take home?)


O. I. A.

  1. OBSERVATION: What do you notice about the passage? What’s going on? What are common themes? words? What questions does this bring up? What other scriptures help us understand this? What is the genre of this passage? Who is being spoken to? Who is speaking?
  2. INTERPRETATION: What does this passage MEAN? Not just what it means to you, but what does it mean in the context of to whom and when it was written?
  3. APPLICATION: How does this passage affect my life? What do I need to do or stop doing in response to this passage? How does my attitudes or behaviors need to change?

Gavin’s Dice Game:  Gavin has a set of Dice with characters on each side. Roll the die and respond according to what symbol is showing:

  1. Question Mark:   What questions do you have about the passage?
  2. Light Bulb:  What ideas does this scripture bring up? What other scriptures do you think of?
  3. Trinity:  What does this passage teach us about God?
  4. Man Figure: What does this passage teach us about mankind?
  5. Arrow:  What do I need to do about this passage? How does it apply to me?
  6. Ear:  Who needs to hear this? Who do I need to tell?


New Theme music by Keb’ Mo’. Keep It Simple, from the album, “Keep It Simple,” 2004