A few weeks ago the Institute was privileged to host our first pastors gathering in Monterey, CA. We have hosted three gatherings of Bible scholars in Chicago and Cape Town, South Africa over the past couple years, but have always wanted to have small, intimate conversations with pastors – the folks on the front lines of seeing people struggle with the Bible – and talk with them about what good Bible engagement in the church looks like.
The event was put together by our friend Kevin Harney, lead pastor at Shoreline Church and author of, among other things, the Organic Outreach series. Twelve pastors from the surrounding area joined us for several hours to talk about questions like, “How do people in your congregation approach the Bible?” and “As a pastor, what types of resources would you like to have to help people read the Bible?”
After describing our perspective on Bible reading and our vision for creating resources to help people read the Bible better, we were excited to see nodding heads and smiles from many of the pastors. “I’ve been so busy preparing sermons, I haven’t read for breadth in years,” one pastor admitted, “If you can get pastors to believe in reading big, that’s huge.” Another pastor told us, “A lot of people are scripturally schizophrenic – this whole idea is a huge mindset shift.”
Having perspectives, challenges, and encouragement from pastors is extremely important and helpful for us. If we are going to give people brand new Bible reading experiences, we want to make sure with pastors first that what we’re doing will work well in a church environment. We are looking forward to having more of these conversations with pastors all across the country.
Are you a pastor? Would you like to help put together something similar to this? Contact us, we’d love to talk!