Basis and Values
The Bible was written not primarily to individuals but to communities of faith. Because of this, it can be best understood when contemplated in community. The Every Body Study is designed to enable everybody to facilitate a productive biblical conversation in every body of believers. Rather than aiming at educational outcomes like a standard curriculum the Every Body Study fosters an environment of spiritual growth through a repeating process which is based on the following values:
- Interpretation must flow from careful observation
- Everybody in the community brings a valuable perspective and set of experiences to the discussion.
- The community of faith indwelt by the Holy Spirit will self-correct wrong doctrine most of the time.
- Bible learning has value when it drives life change.
- Every participant in the meeting has a sphere of influence that needs to encounter the message of Scripture.
- Experiences that are simple, yet profound facilitate the viral spread of the gospel.
The Every BODY Study
Decide as a community which book of the Bible you want to examine. Proceed through the book by covering one chapter in order each time you meet. Study each chapter together by following this process:
- One person will read the chapter aloud while the rest of the group either follows along or carefully listens.
- Allow time for the group to answer Question 1: “What did you see in this passage?”
- Have another participant read the passage aloud again while everyone follows along or listens with the same question in mind.
- Allow everyone to share their further observations with the rest of the group.
- Read the passage aloud one last time.
- Discuss Question 2: “What does this passage make you think?”
o The question is intentionally vague.
o No one person has to give the complete exegesis of the passage. Instead, encourage everyone to share their first response to the question.
o As everyone shares their initial impressions, the group interpretation will be assembled.
- Once everyone has had ample opportunity to answer Question 2, ask Question 3: “What should we do in response?”
- Encourage specificity by asking follow up when, why, how questions.
- Finally, ask Question 4: “Who should you tell this to?”