Information on becoming a pastor

Simple Tips for Reading the Bible

The Bible is the most widely known written work in the entire world. The full Bible has been translated around 520 times and partially translated around 2,800 times. This is how immense this collection is. Learning to read the Bible can be a powerfully motivating and spiritual experience for anyone. It is a huge book and can be unapproachable, but with a few simple tips, you can read the Bible in no time!

Understand Why

Reading the BibleFirst and foremost, before you begin any Bible study work, you need to understand why we read the Bible in the first place. This is one of the oldest living works that is still in circulation and the biggest selling book of all time. The Bible helps establish your relationship with God and is the best way to learn about the life Jesus Christ. There is unparalleled advice on how to approach various circumstances in life. It also helps give you harmony and focus in your life.

Choose a Method

The Bible is available all over in many different formations. You can work straight from the actual book itself or you can focus on bible study online. There are countless sources available on the Internet including eBooks, study guides, Bible study tools, and more. You can also integrate both methods, print and web, together for a hybrid learning styling.

Pick a Plan

There are various reading plans that you can choose from when it comes to reading the Bible. By picking a plan, it helps you focus and have a goal in place. There are plans ranging from ninety days to one year and some that even skip around for easier comprehension. Look around online for a plan that is best suited to what type of reading you are most interested in.

Visit Websites

Do not be afraid to utilize bible study tools! There are some great learning websites out there focused on enhancing your Bible experience. By visiting these and viewing all of your options, you are opening your bible study involvement tenfold.

Use Tools

Some other bible study tools available to help you are simple things like highlighters, pens, sticky notes, etc. Simple, sure, but they will help you notate and remember a lot of the material you go over. By writing it down, you are actually helping yourself retain the information for the long run. If you choose to perform your bible study online, you have limitless tools available to you as well.

Ask Questions

It is okay to ask questions to help yourself comprehend what is going on. The Bible is a large work and has a lot going on. Sit down and ask who, what, when, where, and why. This can assist with opening the entire story on a more relatable sense.

Read on a Regular Basis

Be sure to devote time to reading the Bible. In order to really get the time you need with God and to fully comprehend the material in your Bible study, you need to read regularly and dependently. This goes back to the plan method, where creating a reading plan can help ensure you read an allotted amount in a certain amount of time. This will give you the discipline and structure you may need if you are concerned about regularity.

Pray

It is encouraged to pray before and after reading the Bible, as this is a spiritual experience. Before you read, pray for focus and concentration you need to read. After you are finished, thank God for allowing you the opportunity to walk in His words. Prayer can be your answer on how to read the bible successfully and easily.

The Bible is definitely something you want to read and incorporate into your daily life. It may look intimidating but after you establish a solid reading plan and incorporate the tools that are available to you, it easily becomes a guidance and friend. Do yourself one of the biggest favors you can ever do and make the decision to read the Bible today. You will never regret it.

Choosing A Bible College

Whether desiring to become a minister, missionary or merely learn more about biblical history, choosing a bible college may seem like a daunting task. There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding between campus based or online bible colleges. However, creating a list of the criteria that you deem most important helps narrow the options.

Course or Degree Options

Determine what bible colleges offer the classes or degree oriented programs you need. Conventional and virtual schools present a variety of options and readily accommodate part-time or full-time students. Take a few classes here and there or pursue an undergraduate or a graduate degree. While virtual schools continue expanding their course and degree options, students may find that certain classes are only offered through campus based schools. If hoping to obtain a degree, ensure that whatever school you choose, the institution has accreditation in your field of interest.

Convenience and Flexibility

If hoping to simply broaden basic knowledge at a leisurely pace, find an online college that offers courses in your particular area of interest. An advantage of many online institutions includes the option of completing coursework when convenient for you. The desired curriculum remains available day or night, seven days a week. Students studying online are also not confined to any particular physical location. If preferring to attend a physical campus part-time, students must typically either find classes that suit current lifestyle routines or adjust routines to meet the demands of a school schedule.

Community Requirements

Attending online bible colleges generally involves independent study. Each student must decide if they have the discipline necessary to complete the coursework without being surrounded by a structured environment. Occasionally, facilities provide students with the chance to attend live classes online. However, in the majority of instances, there is no interaction between instructors and other students. In rare instances, students may have the opportunity of meeting and conversing with one another in a chat room or via email. One student may not have a problem with the seclusion of online study. Another student may prefer the camaraderie of other students, the atmosphere of live classes and the chance to enjoy campus based activities.

Instructor Availability

At traditional bible colleges, students not only physically see professors in the classroom, but also have the option of making office appointments or send emails if needed. Online, the avenue of communication remains limited to Internet communication. None the less, students attending online classes have the chance to learn from instructors based anywhere on the planet.

Expense

Some programs offered through online bible colleges may appear expensive compared to a physical campus. Calculate the cost of travel expense, room and board along with other costs of attending a traditional college. However, conventional education options also present the possibility of applying for financial assistance and scholarships. Perform some number crunching and see whether online or on campus is a better financial choice.

Grand Canyon University

For more than six decades, Grand Canyon University has provided students with the chance to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology. The interdenominational institutions proudly offers degree programs on campus and online. Students attending GCU may acquire a bachelor’s, a master’s or a doctorate degree in fields of theology and youth ministry by physically or virtually attending the university. Request and receive more information below.

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Owning a Bible: A Pastors Tool

With so many people using modern devices such as tablets and smart phones to read, printed books are starting to go by the wayside. While these devices are great, there are some paper books that should never become obsolete. The Bible is one of them. While it is possible and often convenient for pastors to read Bible passages on their phones, they should always have at least one if not several paper copies on hand as well.

The Bible has an extremely important place in the church. It contains all the important stories from pre-church and church history. It contains the words of God and the preaching of Jesus and the apostles. It contains prophesy about the end times. While the church does not worship the Bible, the church does hold the Bible up in utmost importance. The preacher preaches messages from it and the congregation strives to live according to it. Something so important surely deserves a physical place in the church.

There are several reasons that reading the Bible on an electronic device should not take the place of reading an actual printed Bible. First of all, preachers frequently jump back and forth between Scriptures in sermons. With a paper Bible, preachers can bookmark and highlight key verses they need to jump to quickly. People can read notes in the margins to learn more about the verses and their various explanations. Preachers can tell everyone to “turn to page 86 of your pew Bible” so everyone, even those without electronic devices, can quickly find the correct passage and follow along.

Electronic Bibles have certain restrictions. They can run out of battery power or break. They can malfunction and lose all of their memory and all of the preacher’s notes and sermons. If the internet goes down in a building, online Bibles are inaccessible. Their screens can break. Electronic devices are not best for wet areas, like a baptismal tub, or sandy places, like a church family camp near a lake. Also, not everyone has an electronic device and those who do look like they are playing on their phones during church instead of paying attention.

Not only is it important for pastors to have a paper Bible, but they really should have different types of Bibles. Different types of Bibles put Scripture passages in a different way. An awkward translation in one Bible may be crystal clear in another version. One version may be best for people interested in a more precise translation, while another version may be best for beginning Bible readers who are likely to get bogged down by more complex terminology.

The King James Version Bible will be most familiar with older church members who grew up listening to Scripture preached from this version. It is also great for Bible passages that are often quoted and familiar. The English Standard Version is commendable in that it has the strongest textual foundation of any translation to date, but some are concerned that wording in parts may lead new Christians to believe in some doctrinal errors. The NIV Bible is a very common Bible today as it presents the Bible in a readable way without distorting the translation so much as to cause errors. Pastors should ideally have a copy of each of these Bibles so that verses can be compared in each version. While there is nothing wrong with having electronic Bibles available as well, there is no substitute for a Bible in print.

Memorizing Bible Scripture: Why It’s Worthwhile

Does a preacher in today’s smart phone age still need to memorize scripture?

This is a frequently asked question among those pursuing God’s call into service. After all, when nearly everyone in America walks around with the Internet in their pocket, what good is it to memorize lines from the Bible? There are some very strong arguments for continuing the old traditions, however. A preacher of a hundred years ago wouldn’t be worth his salt if he didn’t have at least 50 or 60 verses down cold. If you think this kind of memorization is too difficult, there are programs that can help. If you don’t think it would be worth your time, here are four things that might make you reconsider.

Get Closer to God

The more you read and understand your Bible, the closer you get to God’s ideal for his servants. There is a temptation, even among aspiring pastors, to take the Word of God for granted. As the sole existing communiqué, however, from our Creator, is it not a book worth knowing inside and out? The greater that internalization process is, the closer you can get to a true understanding of the Word.

A Powerful Weapon Against Temptation

Even one who turns their life over to Jesus will find themselves faced with temptations on a daily basis. They can be small temptations (watch the game instead of making time for Bible study) or big temptations (adultery), but they are all weapons of Satan. Shouldn’t you have your own weapons? By memorizing scripture, you can amass an arsenal against these temptations, calling upon the Word when you need it the most. The more scripture you memorize, the more situations you’ll be prepared for.

Comfort Your Flock

A preacher should be more than someone who gets up on the pulpit on Sunday to deliver a sermon. The best preachers make themselves available to their flock. If you want to be able to guide and comfort the members of your church, you must be prepared for their questions. You must be able to quote them scripture. A preacher who must flip frantically through their Bible when posed with a question of faith makes a poor impression. Would you be comfortable if your doctor started clicking through WebMD when you asked a question about your health?

Talk with Nonbelievers

Quoting scripture alone may not be enough to turn an atheist into a believer, but a well placed verse here and there can put you on solid Christian ground when softening a nonbeliever’s heart to Jesus. The words of the Bible have a special power all of their own and this power cannot be denied by even the staunchest atheist. Sometimes, there is no overcoming the stubborn will of someone raised by worldly conventions. But if a bit of study time each day with a program like Kyle Buchanan and Dean Roller’s Memory Audios can make you a better shepherd, is it not worth the effort?

Easy Bible Study Methods

The words of the Bible are intended for everyone. If you approach the Good Book with an open mind and heart, you can experience how alive the text feels, all these centuries after it was first recorded.

One way to start your biblical study is to choose one book from either the Old or New Testament and read it all the way through, slowly, a few times, over the course of a month or so. Write down the passages that really speak to you, or those that seem confusing. Look up unfamiliar words. Try to find recurring patterns, images, themes and messages. This method is called close reading, and it allows you to discover the way the Bible works as a text. Once you feel you have a solid grasp of that one book, give yourself a year or two in which to read the entire Bible.

A Bible dictionary will deepen your understanding as you read. This companion reference gives you words’ etymologies, or histories, and a better sense of how those words are used within the context of the Bible.

Indeed, context is important when studying the Bible. To get the most out of scriptural readings, a person must understand what each book is meant to accomplish. For instance, the Ten Commandments, as revealed to Moses in the Book of Exodus, are God’s law; they are rules that Christians are expected to follow. The instructions that are sprinkled throughout the Book of Proverbs, however, are not God’s law per se. Rather, they are instructions that, if followed, will lead a Christian on the right path – the path to a holier, happier and more productive life. In order to best understand the various books of the Bible within their correct contexts, it makes sense to obtain a high-quality Bible study companion. Such a book makes clearer the aims of biblical passages and chapters; in particular, it identifies which parts should be taken literally and which are figurative.

In addition, as you read through the entire Bible, copy passages that provide specific instructions, instructions you may apply to your day-to-day routines. Doing so helps you better obey God and appreciate His works, which are all around you. It also makes your reading of the Bible more personal. If you want to analyze your responses more fully, you could try keeping a journal. In this notebook, or on your computer, reflect on your understandings of different parts of the Bible: how they make you feel, how they pertain to your life.

To aid your biblical study, be sure to set aside a certain amount of time each day for this purpose, and stick to that schedule faithfully, unless an emergency arises. The best place for this study is probably someplace quiet, free of distractions, someplace where you can be alone with your thoughts.

You can always enhance your solitary scriptural studies by gathering regularly with friends, family members or fellow churchgoers for group Bible study sessions. Whenever this group meets, everyone can take turns reading the Bible aloud. These readers should pause every now and then so that each member can share interpretations and ask questions.

Bible Study 101

If you are someone who goes to church on a regular basis, you have probably had the opportunity to join a small Bible study group. If you have taken advantage of the opportunity, you probably realize the wonderful benefits it offers. If you have never joined a Bible study group, there are some benefits you might not realize that you will experience being a part of this group.

One of the major benefits of being a part of a Bible study is that you will have the chance to meet regularly with an intimate group of others who believe in the same things you do. Even though attending church and church events is a wonderful way to follow God’s word that we have good fellowships with each other, oftentimes, there are so many members in a church that you just do not get the feeling that you making significant connections with anyone.

A Bible study group is a small group of people who regularly meet so that they can study the Word of God. You already have something in common with these people even if you have never really sat down and talked to them before. You may not have even realized you had things in common with these people. In a Bible study group, you all have the same goal; to study and learn more about the God you serve and love and to explore and learn about what God’s Word says about how we should go about living our daily lives. By the time your Bible study is over, you just might have made a new friend!

Another major benefit of a Bible study is that your walk with God is strengthened. As you meet with your Bible study group each week and when you do your homework assignments, you will sense God’s presence around you more and more. There is nothing God likes more than enjoying time with His children. The more time you spend focusing on God, the closer you will feel to Him and the more obedient you will be with Him.

In many ways, your relationship with God is like the relationships you have here on Earth. The relationship must be nurtured and given attention. There has to be a two-way street of open communication flowing between you and God. You both need to know that you are invested in your relationship with each other. By joining a Bible study, you help fulfill those relationship requirements for a good, healthy relationship with God. This will help to grow and strengthen that relationship.

Have you ever noticed that some people can quote the scriptures off the top of their head without having a Bible in front of them? The way someone learns to do this is by committing to study the Word of God, and this is done through Bible study. When you study the Bible, you are committing the Word of God into your mind and heart.

A small Bible study group helps make you accountable for studying and doing your homework. When you have a good Bible study, you want to open up the Word and learn what God has to say about what He wants for your life. As you study your homework and take back to the Bible study group what you learned, you will hear what other believers’ insights and thoughts are as well as sharing your own. The people in your study group will share with you how God spoke to them in their own way through the study lesson.

God wants to share time with us everyday, and belonging to a Bible study group is the perfect way to do so. When we come together with others who believe in the same things we do and who share struggles and desires to grow with God the way we do, it inspires us to find time to study the Word of God. Bible study is the perfect way to enhance your relationship with God and other believers.

Theology Study and Careers

Theology, also called Divinity, is the study of religion and appeals to students of all kinds. Theological studies encompass elements of several disciplines, from history to philosophy, literature and anthropology. Courses in theological studies can prepare you for a wide range of careers and intellectual pursuits. If you are considering the study of theology, you are in good company. Many universities across the world offer comprehensive courses in theological studies.

Who Studies Theology?

The majority of students who enter in the field of theological study are preparing for a career in Christian ministry. In the past, Harvard, Boston University, Princeton and Yale were founded strictly for the purpose of training Christian clergy. Now there are colleges and universities across the country that specialize in the field, providing the aspiring minister with the tools he needs to succeed in the faith.

In addition to specialized training for ministry, many students study theology for its theoretical perspective. These students go on to pursue higher education, earning master’s and eventually doctoral degrees in the subject. They then go on to become professors, historians and anthropologists. Still others use the material they have learned to work as researchers, speakers and advocates for charities.

Careers in Theology

There are as many careers in theology as there are students who study it. Opportunities abound for teachers that impart theological principles to students eager to learn in this course of study. Liturgists coordinate liturgies for their parish and work closely with heads of the church. Religious education coordinators integrate religious education into the life of parishoners.

Others serve as pastoral associates, campus ministers and religious writers. Still others go on to advanced study and serve as Catholic school administrators, hospital program coordinators and serve in church leadership. There are many careers in theology for the right student, and finding the best one is a matter of following your calling.

Theology Courses of Study

Students in the field of theological study will take a number of fundamental courses to complete the degree. Most students will take a course in biblical literature that will prepare them for interpreting scripture. Students will also take introductory courses in Christian theology, introduction into Judaism and fundamentals of Catholicism. Students may also study world religions, take courses in Hebrew and study religious ethics. Advanced study will include courses in feminist theology, marriage and family and the parables of Jesus. Students will find these courses encourage an in-depth study in the field and encourage questioning and critical thinking.

A career in divinity and theology can be both rewarding and self-actualizing. Many clergy and theologians find joy in their work and their ability to help others. If you are looking for a career in the religious field, the first step is a comprehensive theological study. With an in-depth study in theology, you can learn the history of the Christian faith and the future it has in society. With this knowledge you can lead and instruct your own congregation, conduct religious study and create religious learning materials.

There are many colleges and universities that offer degrees in theology–many of which deliver lessons completely online. Find the right theology program of study today.

Bible Schools Are The Soul Choice For Education

What In The World Is A Bible School?

Today’s world is always changing. There are sources of information that can lead developing youth in many directions. Many of these paths can mean difficulties later in life. Bible school offers education based on the teachings and moral underpinnings of The Bible. A Christ like life is the goal. In this changing world some things should remain constant. Christianity and its values are prominent among them.

Bible schools focus on learning about Christ’s life and His impact. The ultimate objectives in The Bible are the foundation that bible schools build their curricula around. A life fulfilled by God’s love is a major objective and the components of a Christian education will bring students closer to achieving it. Leadership, honesty and servitude are character traits students will acquire.

Is Bible School For All Grade Levels?

Bible school brings to mind Christian colleges or universities. It calls forth the image of a seminary. There are multitudes of choices for earning college degrees within the realm of Christian teaching. Christian colleges and universities are abundant nationwide and also online. Associates, Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates degrees can be earned. Some also offer certificates in biblical study. Bible school degrees and courses of study can include:

  • B.S. in Biblical Studies
  • B.A. in Children’s or Youth Ministry
  • B.A. in Education
  • M.A. in Pastoral Ministry
  • B.A. in Music Worship

There are degrees in communication, sports, counseling, religious studies and linguistics. There are even bible school degrees offered in aviation. The material world has needs in all disciplines. These needs can be served with a Christian based education.

Not only are bible schools institutes of higher learning, high schools and grade schools around the country base their education on The Bible. The dedication of a child’s Christian upbringing begins at these levels. The Christian school helps keep children focused on The Truth and helps reduce the impact of the secular world and its distractions.

Bible Studies For Life

A degree in bible studies prepares the young adult to enter the world of ministry and Christian service. There are opportunities for graduates in churches and missions worldwide. Teaching is an exciting possibility. Sharing the knowledge and the love of God, ministering offers choices for many. Hospitals need chaplains. So do prisoners. Social and child welfare are areas where serving hearts may lead. Bible schools also look for candidates with bible school backgrounds for their recruiting and enrollment departments. Nursing homes can often be a place to share one’s talents. Counseling is another area where a bible studies background would be useful. So many people today are cut off from Christ.

Biblical study can be deeply rewarding and attending a biblical seminary is immersive and in-depth. Those serious about studying scripture and understanding its true meaning will want to explore the possibility of the biblical seminary education. The seminary is ideal for delving into belief in God and what The Bible teaches relating to core Christian principles.

Whether a student beginning school at the youngest age, a high school student looking at college choices or even a grown person eager to bring more of a Christian approach to life, bible schools are the answer.