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Engaging Scripture

What Is Scripture Engagement?

The practice of engaging Scripture immerses us in the true story of God's faithful love so that we become more like Jesus as we grow in recognizing God, ourselves, and the world around us.

Engaging Scripture: Living into God’s Story

by Phil Reinders

My son’s kindergarten class was invited to watch a dress rehearsal of Snow White that the eighth-graders of his school were preparing to perform. Having read or heard the story several times, my son knew it well. Yet in watching the live performance of the fledgling actors, he became present to the world of the story. When Snow White raised the poisoned apple to her lips, he was unable to contain himself, and he yelled out, “Stop! Don’t eat that!” Transported from the dimly lit school auditorium, he had imaginatively entered another world and found himself a participant in the story. Snow White, however, wasn’t quite sure what to do.

A few of my friends make their living by bringing a script or musical score to life in a performance. For these actors and musicians, a performance that lives is much more than simply uttering all the words in the script or hitting all the notes of a musical composition. Though they add nothing new to the score or script, compelling actors enter into the story and character; a virtuoso musician submits to and dwells in the composition—understanding its tone and texture, internalizing and then enacting the score or script, and so participating in its life.

My kindergarten-age son and artist friends offer a helpful window for how Christians engage with the Bible.

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Helpful Resources for Engaging Scripture

Scripture passages on engaging God’s Word and a resource list of good things to read, watch, and listen to.

How Can I Engage Scripture?

Engaging Scripture Individually

Engaging Scripture with a Group

Engaging Scripture as a Family

Points to Ponder

Explore these questions in personal reflection, at home, or in small groups:

  • How was deep Scripture engagement part, or not part, of my family life growing up?
  • How much space have I made for God’s Word in my daily life? How might I make more space?
  • Do I generally learn best by seeing, hearing, or doing? How might that affect the ways I engage with Scripture?
  • How might I live into the idea of Scripture being “a light to my path” in daily living (Ps. 119:105)?


“The most important question we ask of [a Bible] text is not 'What does this mean?' but 'What can I obey?’”

—Eugene Peterson in Eat This Book (Tweet this quote)

Explore Other Faith Practices

Faith Formation Ministries’ Faith Practices Project explores twelve Christian practices or spiritual disciplines: sabbath, gratitude, generosity, hospitality, engaging Scripture, justice and mercy, listening, celebration, prayer, wonder, remembering, and service.