Introducing Bible Month
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'Who is wise and understanding among
you? Show by your
good life that your works are done with gentleness born of
In June 2017, the Methodist Church is encouraging churches and
circuits across the Connexion to run a 'Bible Month', 30 days
focused on the letter of James. The Bible Month will involve two
- Preachers preparing and preaching a
series of sermons on James over the four Sundays of
- Small group leaders running a 'Bible
Month' group that focuses on James, but which also helps those
attending engage the Bible in fresh and innovative ways.
By focusing on a single biblical book, the aim of the Bible
Month is to help all in church engage more deeply with Scripture. A
pilot project showed that the Bible Month model could be effective
in raising biblical literacy, and the majority of those who took
part were keen to hold another Bible Month in the future!
Bible Month training days will be run across the Connexion, in
early 2017, for preachers and small group leaders. A resource to
guide your Bible Month will become available in winter 2016.
Questions about the Bible Month
Q) Do I have to run the Bible Month in
No. June is the suggested date for the Bible Month - and
resources are directed to that month - but you can run the Bible
Month anytime that suits your own context.
Q) How do I get permission to run the Bible
Speak to your Circuit Superintendent. The Superintendent will
need to support the running of the Bible Month, and also add it to
the preaching plan well in advance of June 2017.
Q) Can I be the sole preacher for the Bible
It is possible for a single preacher to preach the four sermons
on James, but the usual practice in the pilot was for a team of
preachers to work together on this. Speak to your Superintendent
and others in the Circuit about who you could work with on
Q) Is the Bible Month just a 'one off'
The Bible Month will be held over the next few years, tackling
several different books of the Bible. The 'Bible Month magazine'
that will support the 2017 Bible Month, however, will also be
available for any church interested in running a Bible Month on
James at a future date.
Q) Who is involved in running the Bible
The Bible Month will be run by local churches, but support will
be provided by the Discipleship & Ministries Learning Network
and LWPT. The Methodist Church is also working with ROOTs to
produce the 'Bible Month' resource magazine.
Q) How can I receive training in leading a Bible
Four training days for the Bible Month will be run across the
connexion in January/February 2017, and details
will soon be available here. There will also be a 'Bible Month
magazine' available to help you in planning and preparation.
Q) How can I get young people involved in the Bible
Suggestions for involving young people will be included in the
Bible Month magazine. On helping young people in generally engage
the Bible, you might also like to check out 'Navigate', a
joint-resource produced by the Methodist Church and the Bible
Q) Why focus on James?
The letter of James encourages Christians to live out their
faith as well as to confess it. It reminds us that faith without
works is dead, and so encourages us to love God and neighbour in
deed as well as in word. While future Bible Months will focus on
different biblical books, James seems a suitable work to begin with
- and also features in the lectionary earlier in 2017.
Q) Where does this 'Bible Month' idea come
A 'Bible Month' pilot project ran in 2015, and involved two
churches in London and two in the North East. The pilot itself,
however, drew on a 'preaching series' model for encouraging
biblical literacy trialled in the Yorkshire Dales. That, I'm told,
emerged from a discussion at circuit level. Although promoted by
the DMLN, this project has really emerged from the 'ground