#011: 4 Benefits You Can ONLY Get from Reading the Bible with Other People [Podcast]

Most of the time, the posts I write are about helping you enjoy the Bible, get more out of it, understand it better, or pass it on to your kids, students, co-workers or neighbors. This episode will help you in many of those areas, but from a slightly different angle than you might expect.

Group with Bibles open on coffee table

Photo courtesy of Lightstock.com – Ryan Klintworth

So often, we look at Bible study tips and instantly think about our own, personal, before-the-world-wakes-up quiet time. In a word, we picture ourselves alone.

And while I’m certainly a fan of time alone with God (see Episode #10 if you want to know more), we are missing out on four huge benefits if we don’t spend some time reading and unpacking the Bible with other people. These aren’t nice-little-add-on benefits. These are your-life-won’t-be-as-rich-without-them benefits.

NOTE: Last week I sent out a survey asking how to make this podcast (and the blog as a whole) better and more helpful as we move into 2014. I was blown away by the 100+ responses and I’m working to implement some of those suggestions right away.

The two main changes you’ll notice this week are:
1. Brief Intro (moved the Resource of the Week to the end and did less “chatting”).
2. Shorter overall length. In past episodes, I’ve tried to target 30-40 minutes. This week’s episode is 23:05.

Let me know what you think of the changes (and if you have other suggestions)!

Main Topic: 4 Benefits You Can ONLY Get from Reading the Bible with Other People

  1. Your buddy will help you be more consistent. We may not want to admit we need the accountability. (But we do.) We may believe we’re supposed to want to read the Bible. (But sometimes – let’s be honest – we don’t.) And who knows? Maybe your buddy needs the accountability and you’re it!
  2. Your buddy will make it more fun. Few things retain their enjoyment when only done in isolation. We get more interested in what we talk about. Period. See what happens if you only go to movies alone and never talk to anyone about a movie you’ve seen or a book you’ve read. Try going an entire football season, only watching the games alone, never talking to anyone about last weekend’s game, never reading the paper or online chatter, and never listening to sports radio. How interesting would that be?
  3. Your buddy will see things you miss. As pastor Timothy Keller puts it, “A small group study will always give you insights you would never get on your own.” Yup. That’s the truth. (Go ahead and Tweet it.)
  4. Your buddy will clarify your own thinking. Simply put: Thoughts that stay in your head remain cloudy. Only when we talk through them will we recognize our own incorrect thinking – and become more solid in our correct thinking. The founder of Navigators, Dawson Trotman, put it this way, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips and through pencil tips.” (Ooo…that’s good. You might want to Tweet that too.“)

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Listener Questions (Listen at 14:49)

What is the ideal size for a small group? 

You can listen to my explanation on the podcast, but the short answer is slightly different for a small group of “couples/families” or a small group of “men/women/students.” For couples and families, I suggest 4-5 couples. For groups of individuals, the number should be 4-8 individuals.

I struggle with finding a quiet place and making time. So many distractions. Ideas? 

Oh man, do I relate to this one! I cover this in greater detail on the episode (listen at 16:25), but I met someone last month who recommended not only finding a specific place (couch, chair, kitchen table) and time (for me it’s 6am). He suggested making the “journey” to that place a prayer at every step, so that whether you’re walking down the stairs, pouring a cup of coffee, or shuffling toward the chair, you are becoming increasingly aware of God at every moment.

Can I answer your question on a future episode?

I have several ways you can submit a question – or an idea for an episode topic:

  • Call the dedicated Podcast Voicemail Line: (425) 522-3487
  • Shoot me an email: podcast– at – keithferrin.com
  • Record a voicemail – up to 90 seconds – at www.speakpipe.com/keithferrin.
  • Leave a comment here on this page.

Resource of the Week (Listen at 20:52)

The Resource of the Week is www.ChristianAudio.com 

If you like audio books, you have to check out this site. They work very much like Audible.com, but have the largest collection of Christian audio books online. Here are a few details:

  • You get “credits” with your monthly subscription and use these to buy your audio books. (You can also simply pay for the books if you don’t want a monthly subscription.)
  • $14.95 = 4 credits each month. $24.95 = 8 credits. (Credits rollover. The never expire.)
  • Most books are 3-4 credits, though there are always specials and sales. (Including a free “featured” audio book every month that doesn’t use your credits.)

BTW – This is NOT an affiliate link. If they develop an affiliate program, I’ll certainly note that here. (As you know, I always disclose that info.)

The Next Episode:

  • A Super Fun Piece of the Bible Study Puzzle You Are Probably Missing. We will unpack Tip #8 from my new book.

What question would you like me to answer on the next episode (or a future episode)?

Links (People, Info, and Resources) from Episode 011:

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“Struggle with LIKING the Bible? Want to like it more? Check out @KeithFerrin’s podcast http://wp.me/P2rPgQ-FS #LikeTheBible”


Question: What is one benefit you have found from discussing the Bible with other people?

Please note: I love conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts - even if you don't agree with something I write. But let's all make sure we're polite. I reserve the right to send any mean-spirited, offensive, spammy, or off-topic comments to the cyber-junk-pile.