Small Group Bible Study

DNA Startup Guide
 - Week 
1

How to Read the Bible

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1. Be Real

Take a few minutes to catch up, tell stories, and laugh together. Trust and friendship take time to build. As you launch your new DNA, one person should tell their story — what do we need to know about you? Next week, another person will share their story.

2. Grow Together

The primary ways we grow together are to dig into scripture, point each other to Jesus and give encouragement. This week, we’re getting on the same page around the Bible.

What is the Bible?

This is the briefest summary one can possibly have of the Bible: it’s God’s written words to you.

Through the millennia, it has changed the hearts and minds of everyday people who want to experience God.

It is a collection of different writings — stories, poetry, letters to friends, historic accounts and prophetic visions. Here’s the big deal: all of the Bible points to Jesus.

As we read scripture, we are going to encounter how broken humanity is (and we are), and we’ll see Jesus love the world (and us) more than we deserve.  

Read this together: John 1:1-4, 14-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Ok… now what?

Whenever you talk about the Bible as a DNA, ask these three key questions:

What does it say?
What is the core idea of the passage? What are your observations?

What does it mean?
Can you describe the implications of the passage? What truth is being revealed?

What does it mean to me?
Is anything I just read prompting me to take action? Sin to confess? Hope to believe?

If you struggle to stay committed to the Bible, here are some ideas:

You can read the Bible with your DNA

Reading the Bible in community is one of the quickest ways to get out of a reading rut. It’s a practice that God’s people have always done to remind themselves of who they are and what they’ve been called to. As we come together to read and discuss a passage, our pre-existing (and often staunchly held) stories about God, ourselves, and the world are challenged. We’re forced to see the Bible in new ways and grapple with it, pushing us deeper into the biblical narrative, which in turn shapes us as God’s people rather than us shaping it.

You can meditate on the Bible in private

Bible meditation is the practice of entering into the text by reading and rereading it out loud, allowing it to speak to us in such a way that we listen and truly hear it. We fix and order our minds around the text, reading and rereading, until key words, phrases, and ideas jump off the page at us. Then we chew on these words and ideas and begin to form questions that lead us into deeper reflection. This causes us to slow down and experience the Bible in a way that affects our hearts and minds with the love of God.

3. Next Steps

Make a plan - How will our DNA dig into the Bible together?

  • Option 1) We’ll read on our own during the week. What will we be reading before we meet again? Pick a book of the Bible or a reading plan from thebibleproject.com or youversion.com.
  • Option 2) We’ll read together when we meet. What book of the Bible or plan will we use? What if we read a chapter of John and a Psalm?

Pray

  • What’s going on that we need to pray about today?
  • Did anyone share something earlier that we need to remember to pray for during the week?
  • What have we been praying for previously that we need to recall?

Additional Recommended Resources

Unbreakable — Andrew Wilson
Read the Bible for a Change — Ray Lubeck
TheBibleProject.com — Videos to help you understand the Bible
YouVersion.com — Bible Reading Plans
Enduringword.com — commentaries, insight
Dwell Audio Bible — Audio App