This Sunday at One Church Gloucester, we were gifted some top tips from Chas Paul as to how to ensure our Private Disciplines are effective. He spoke openly about how he ensures his are effective, but also how he has struggled in the past. Here are Chas’ top tips from Sunday:
Disipline 1 – Read your Bible
- You don’t have to read it like a book
- You don’t have to understand it
- Don’t set the bar too high
Disipline 2 – Personal Devotions
A great way to get started with the Bible is called ‘SOAP’. This is a concept taken from a book called ‘The Divine Mentor’ written by Wayne Cordeiro. ‘SOAP’ stands for Scripture – what are you reading? Observation – what stood out to you? Application – how does that apply to your life or situation? Prayer – your response to all of it put together.
Trying to find something to read? Where do you start? What will be good for you? All of these are things that everyone has experienced, but as we have mentioned before, if you have a smart phone or a tablet there are apps out there that can help you by setting up reading plans. There are plans for devotions, there are plans for the study of the history of the Bible, the life of Jesus, plans for Young people and for older people, plans for certain topics or plans to help you read the Bible in a year. The best way to get a plan that works for you is to choose it yourself. We have found links for some plans, but we encourage you to look for yourself also, find one that suits you.
We asked four people to tell us how they do their Private Disciplines around their daily lives:
A retired individual – “I don’t usually have a particular quiet time at weekends but I get up at around 5.30am most weekday mornings to read and pray. It works better for me than the evening when I tend to feel more tired or there may be something else happening. Also having time during the day, I can read the Word whenever I feel prompted. My Bible is always nearby if I want to look something up.”
A full time mum – “I have learnt to be fluid with my devotion time and take any opportunity I can. With school and nursery runs and changing nappies, sometimes all I can manage is worship music on car journeys, other days I can grab 10 mins to dip into the Bible. When I find scriptures that impact me I write them on a post-it note and stick it to my kitchen cupboards.”
A shift worker – “On days off, I tend to do it in the mornings when I get up. The other times I tend to get to work early and do it in the car. It’s easier now as mobile apps allow you to carry a Bible almost anywhere. Most importantly I find it important not to feel guilty if you miss a day as it could give a foothold to the enemy.”
A Uni student – “A full time Uni student with a part time job means that life can feel really busy. No matter how my day goes, my favourite part is spending time with God. Even if it’s just before I go to bed, I love it and know that it’s really beneficial for me. Sometimes, I’ll read my Bible and journal on the train on my way to Uni and sometimes I find a time between lectures.”
The most important thing when it comes to Private Disciplines is that you find what works best for you…