Reading the Bible with the Church
One of the areas I get to focus on at Kairos is helping bring the Scriptures to life and making them a formative and shaping presence in the life of our community in Los Angeles. Believing that God is creatively and imaginatively at work in the world and that, through the Scriptures, the word of God invites us to join in on this work, we’re trying to figure out what it looks like for our community to be both grounded in and propelled by the texts of the Bible.
- We want to be grounded in the Scriptures because these are gathering and abiding texts. These texts speak to us about the identity and character of God so we can better understand our own identity and character as people and as the church.
- We want to be propelled by the Scriptures because these are sending and scattering texts. These texts speak to us about the purpose and mission of God so we can better understand our own purpose and mission as people and as the church.
In our teaching and preaching at Kairos, we’ve tried to move away from “information-based messages” to “(trans)formation-based proclamations.” This just means we try to spend less time conveying information, history, background, etc. about the text during our weekly gatherings and more time inviting people into a new way of living in line with the text and God’s mission.
During the next season Kairos Hollywood is going to spend time as a community reading and dwelling in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonian church. I put together an overview of the letter for our community to munch on – providing information about background, history, context, etc. (check it out here: 1 Thessalonians Overview) as a way to allow this information to seep into our community without it needing to take up large amounts of our time together.
Information is important and can make it easier to engage with the transformative potential of God’s word…but more and more I’m realizing that while information can be a wonderful appetizer – something to munch on and whet the appetite for the feast of formative proclamation – it’s not the main course. It’s not going to fill you up, and it’s not going to satisfy. And it’s not going to be the kicker that makes God’s kingdom come (on earth as it is in heaven).
So I’m playing with creative ways to give people access to the best resources and information out there without giving it the main seat at the table.
What do you think? Any ideas?