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A selection of resources to grow and deepen our faith
In our first blog post we spoke about how Bristo Baptist Church has had to adapt to the lockdown in Scotland. This week, we're looking at how you can continue to grow and deepen in your faith outside of the Zoom and WhatsApp conversations. So, what resources are there to help you?
Some of these have been around for a while - others have been developed in response to the current situation, such as an online-only church festival.
If there are any other resources that you enjoy using, please share them with us!
There are plenty of free resources online, including websites with study Bible options. You’ve probably heard of Bible Gateway, but did you know it offers over 200 Bible translations, including ones in many languages, from Hindi to Twi? Reading different translations is a great way to study as you can see different nuances in what is written. The website also has a verse of the day, which you can receive by email, plus a blog.
A similar resource is Bible Hub, a site that encourages learning and practical application of the Bible. For example, there is a tool that allows you to search by theme and then cross-reference to other passages on the same topic. Like Bible Gateway, this site has over 40 translations of the Bible, and offers parallel readings of up to 13 different English translations. Bible Hub even provides the opportunity to explore the Hebrew origins of the Bible, breaking down each verse word by word.
Logos offers upgrades to access more expansive resources - although the free Logos 8 package is perfect for anyone looking to deepen their Bible study. This package provides over 20 digital books, connected to a search function on the site, plus an option to search for the definitions and morphology behind words in the Greek and Hebrew source texts.
If prayer is something you would like to develop further there are a couple of great options online. The Daily Devotional from 24-7 prayer uses scripture to help you pray each day, and focuses on the movement’s six core values: prayer, mission, justice, creativity, hospitality and learning. This devotional has a handy app meaning you can access the resources at any time, and you can choose to either read or listen. Content is released each Monday for the week ahead, and you can listen back to 3 months of devotions.
The Prayer Course
Alternatively, if there is a group wanting to look at prayer together, why not try the Prayer Course? Made up of eight sessions, which include a video and pointers for discussion, each one ends with a practical section in which you are invited to pray for each other, worship or reflect on what has been discussed.
Although many Christian festivals are sadly unable to go ahead this year, that hasn’t stopped them using technology to reach out to people! Spring Harvest Home was originally started as a substitute for their events - however, they are continuing to publish videos on their YouTube channel for you to enjoy. These videos are perfect for all ages, from Thoughts for the Day to puppet shows from Duggie Dug Dug!
Meanwhile, the Soul Survivor website offers a back catalogue of talks from Soul Survivor festivals, aimed at teenagers, between 2017 and 2019, while the recordings from Naturally Supernatural festivals are ideal for the whole family. If you are interested in hearing more from the team at their Watford based church, Andy Croft and Mike Pilavachi have launched a daily podcast, Take Heart, on their YouTube channel. This podcast is based on John 16:33 and aims to encourage people to remain close to Jesus even in tough times.
Alternatively, if you are looking for sermons by famous preachers, Sermons Online offers a fantastic catalogue of talks from people such as Billy Graham and Rick Warren, along with other sections such as music and testimonies.
Joyce Meyer Ministries, established by the American author and speaker, also offers daily devotions, questions and talks. This website also has an app, allowing you access to their resources at any time.
The Bible Project
Finally, if you are looking for something to summarise themes and books of the Bible, take a look at the Bible Project. These short, animated videos are very accessible and perfect for introducing Biblical concepts to a variety of ages.
Alternatively, there are plenty of Bible resources available to purchase, most of which you can subscribe to. These range from Encounter with God , which provides daily Bible readings and looks at contemporary issues in the world, to Cover to Cover which focuses on one book of the Bible over a 7 week period.
There are also resources for the whole family, such as Exploring the Bible Together. This 52 week family plan is an excellent way to worship together while catering for all ages. If you want to look at other resources like these try websites such as The Good Book, BRF Online, Eden and CWR.