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OTHER VOICES: Matt Dabbs


From time to time, I want to introduce you to other bloggers or writers. Today, I lift up Matthew Dabbs, the associate minister at the Northwest Church of Christ, St. Petersburg, FL.

I have never met Matt in person, though I have talked with him briefly on the telephone. I know him mostly through his writing. He is a young man, but talented. He has a breezy, but engaging style. He makes some serious points – as I am sure you will agree as you peruse the article below that recently appeared on his blog. You can see this one in its natural habitat here or read it below. You can find Matt’s blog, Kingdom Living at http://mattdabbs.wordpress.com.

PITFALLS IN BIBLE STUDY (3) THE BIBLE BINGE

Posted on April 4, 2010 by mattdabbs

I don’t know anyone who consumes all their calories for the week in a single one hour sitting. But somehow when it comes to spiritual nurishment many Christians foolishly believe they can do exactly that. They come to worship for an hour a week and expect to get full and stay full for 7 days until they come back the following Sunday (unless they miss it) to fill themselves up again.

What is more, they expect to mature on spoon fed theology. This is spiritual puree, the meat of scripture processed down into its most basic components. These messages are meant to pack onto an already rich diet of Bible study and cannot sustain spiritual growth on their own. It is Bible binge eating…sitting down for one HUGE spiritual meal. It is completely unhealthy and unsustainable. What is contained in one weekly Bible class or sermon is not intended to be sustaining for the week or to be our recharge for the week. The real recharge should be happening throughout the week as we hunger and thirst for righteousness and seek the scriptures to find sustenance.

I would challenge any Christian who thinks all the Bible study they need can be spoon fed to them out of someone else’s preparation in a single 30 minute sermon or a single 1 hour Bible class to try the same thing with food and see how hard it is to make it through the week.

5 Tips for keeping away from this pitfall:

  1. Discipline – It takes discipline in order to maintain a healthy  and consistent habit of Bible study. It takes discipline to make the difficult decision of what less important time wasters are going to have to leave your daily routine in order to put Bible study where it belongs.
  2. Structure – Some people are inconsistent because they don’t have a plan. Get a Bible study and work through the whole thing. When you are done with it, get another one. See this page for lots of free Bible studies.
  3. Make use of classes already available. Most churches have regular Wednesday night and Sunday night Bible studies. Some churches offer even more than that. Why not take advantage of these classes and enjoy sharing the Bible study with others.
  4. Accountability can be a healthy thing to keep us on track. It is true with many things in life, if you know someone else knows you are more likely to be consistent and do it even when you don’t feel like it.
  5. Takes notes – when you are in worship or Bible class take notes so that when you go home you can do further research of the questions you have or meditate over the points you found beneficial. It may be true of Vegas but it is not true of the church assembly – what happens in “church” does not need to stay in church.
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One Response

  1. Thanks Jerry! I am sure we will meet within the next 6 months. At the very least at Spiritual Growth Workshop.

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