Nothing has been more essential to my honest pursuit of God than the Bible. But not long into ministry did I realize that staying in the word and following Jesus are not meant to be done alone. In order to be consistent in these disciplines, I need others to help me stay focused.
For the past seven years, as I have lived and served in Glasgow, Scotland, I have participated in consistently reading through the Bible with small groups of 4-5 people.
There is something simple and deep about these Bible Reading Groups, as we call them. We read one or even a few books of the Bible during the week and meet for an hour to share three things we love about the text. The goal is not to read the Bible, but to be reading the Bible—immersed in the word over a lifetime.
Through these Bible Reading Groups, I have seen the life-changing power of reading the Bible—from brand-new Christians to mature believers. Taking time to read the Bible in its entirety is a simple concept, yet the impact proves to be profound.
Over time, these Bible Reading Groups have become a foundation of our church, Regarding Hope. Because the church wants to see God glorified in Glasgow, our reading groups choose to meet in public places such as coffee shops, restaurants, and parks.
Although the purpose is not necessarily to share the gospel, we feel it is important to witness to the city that God's hand is moving and there exists a people who are thirsty for His Word. Incredibly, He has used these groups in public places to draw people into the church!
In a post-modern country far beyond the reach of the traditional church, it continues to be extremely powerful to watch God move in Glasgow through our simple steps of obedience.