Try out the “S.O.A.P.” Bible Study Method
There are many ways to study the Bible.
At times you’ll need to find something that “fits” your personality or bent.
Other times you’ll need something fresh to help you get re-energized about your Bible study time.
The next few posts are going to give you some alternatives to what you have been doing… to give you a chance to spice things up a bit!
WHERE THE S.O.A.P. BIBLE STUDY METHOD COMES FROM
This method is a “daily devotional” type study method that takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes per day, depending on the scripture passage you are using. As far as I know, this method was first devised by Pastor Wayne Cordiero of New Hope Fellowship on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
• You can have a meaningful time in the scriptures in a relatively short time.
• Teaches you the basics of how to approach the scriptures wisely.
• Helps you develop the habit of daily scripture study without being overwhelming.
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
• Trustworthy Bible translation (ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, KJV, RSV)
• A notebook or journal
• A scripture reading plan that covers no more than 1 chapter of the scriptures daily.
You can use a ready-made plan, or make up your own. You could even begin at the beginning of any Bible book and work through a chapter or less each day, depending on what fits your need.
HOW TO DO IT
• Each day’s time in the scriptures will include 4 sections of focus, listed below…
S – Scripture – Read the scripture you have chosen for the day. Make sure you take the time to understand what is being said, who is saying it, and why they are saying it. In your notebook, hand write the part of the scripture that stands out to you.
O – Observation – Ask the Lord to teach you through the passage. What do you think He is saying to you through what you’ve read? Paraphrase and write down what you think He is telling you.
A – Application – Write out how the passage applies to your life. Are there attitudes or actions you need to change in light of what you’ve read? Are there conflicts you need to resolve, promises you need to receive, encouragement you need to hear?
P – Prayer – Ask the Lord to apply the truths of the passage to your heart. Ask Him for the strength you need to apply what you have learned with honesty.
The S.O.A.P method is a great starter plan, something to get you going in a way that is not too cumbersome or difficult. The only additional suggestion I’d make is that you write down the most meaningful part of the scripture for each day to take with you for review throughout the day (note card, index card, etc.)
What benefits do you see in the S.O.A.P. Bible study method? How do you think it might benefit your relationship with God?
This post is reworked from my book, “The Elder Training Handbook“by