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616 – Bible Study in a Tree Stand

December has arrived on WELSTech, and its got us talking about Bible study ideas for the upcoming new year. This episode also includes news from Hour of Code, Christmas concert schedules, a family stewardship devotion series, and an opportunity to help Michigan Lutheran Seminary enhance their YouTube options.

The interview & discussion:

In the Word – Principal Brad Gurgel from St Peter Lutheran School in St Peter, MN provides an update on their school and church Bible reading initiative which he first shared at this summer’s EdTechLead19 (presentation link). Alycia Cameron also updates us on the Berean Bible Challenge she is leading, and Martin and Sallie have additional ideas for Bible study as we approach a new year.

News in tech:

Hour of Code – December 9-15

WELS now:

  • Christmas Concerts
    • Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Live Stream)
      • Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm
    • Martin Luther College (Live Stream)
      • Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 pm
      • Sunday, December 8 at 4:00 pm
  • Shop online with Northwestern Publishing House from their ‘Tis His Season catalog
    • Use coupon code FREETIDINGS at checkout to receive a free copy of Tidings of Comfort and Joy when you make a $50 or more purchase from the catalog

Picks of the week:

Ministry resource:

Christians Under Construction family stewardship devotion series

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Check out Smart Dezign: Church Media Made Simple on YouTube, including this video on Making a $4 Dollar Store DIY Teleprompter

Next time:

Pastor Kurt Lueneburg and Adam Goede from the Christian Giving office share ideas for online giving.

Get involved:

532 – Sharpening Your Bible Study

If there is one skill you want sharp, it’s Bible Study. Today’s technology tools make that easier than ever with online bibles, bible studies, tools, and more. Today’s picks are “google-centric” and there’s a great interview with Pastor Brock Groth, the man behind understandchristianity.com.

The discussion:

Rooted and built up – The topic of “Sharpening Your Skills” naturally leads the Christian to consider ways to grow their knowledge of God’s Word. Martin and Sallie discuss digital Bible features, resources from WELS and Northwestern Publishing House (NPH) for being in the Word, and ways to incorporate Bible study into meetings, journaling and social media.

The interview:

Understand Christianity – Pastor Brock Groth from St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, CA shares the story behind his website, UnderstandChristianity.com. What started as a book effort is now an informative site, featuring notes from Pastor Groth’s Seminary studies transformed into informative posts on Bible teachings and popular Timelines.

WELS now:

Picks of the week:

Ministry resources:

Shepherd’s Staff 2018

Community feedback:

Featured video:

Minnesota District President Charles Degner’s sermon on 1 Peter 1:10-12 is a great encouragement study God’s Word, our great heritage! Watch the archived live stream of the MN District Reformation 500 service from the The Chapel of the Christ at Martin Luther College. The sermon begins at the 1:02:00 mark in the video.

 Coming up on WELSTech:

Episode 533 – Helping others sharpen their skills can be a challenge. Tune in for a WELSTech discussion on the topic. Release date: Wednesday, January 24.

Get involved:

Worship Helps

During weekly worship, Christians join with other believers in prayer and praise to God. More importantly, they join with other believers to hear the Word of God. One way the Word is proclaimed during worship is through the assigned readings from the Bible for the particular day in the church year.

Using WELS Worship Helps, Christians can prepare their hearts for worship by studying the assigned readings in advance. Worship Helps are released weekly, on the Monday prior to worship. They are available on the WELS.net web site as well as via e-mail subscription.

Each week, the Worship Helps introduction identifies a theme that runs through the various Bible readings for the week. Each reading is followed by questions and answers related to the reading, and both traditional and supplemental readings are included in Worship Helps.

Application/audience

Personal and group Bible study can be designed around Worship Helps. Time spent studying the worship passages is later reinforced and magnified in the Christian’s worship experience. Share links to the resource in e-newsletters and via social media channels to encourage others to use it to prepare for worship. Consider using Worship Helps for church and school faculty/staff devotion or family devotion.

We actually use Worship Helps in the WELS Technology office for team devotion to start our weekly staff meetings. Different team members volunteer to read the passages ,and we discuss the questions (before looking at the answers) as a group. When the reading comes up in church the next Sunday, I’m always excited to hear it and learn more about it through the songs and sermon for the week.

Related resources

Additional Bible study and devotional resources from WELS include ..

See All Ministry Resources

Reformation Reading Plan on YouVersion

As we begin the new year, it is the perfect time to review the available resources for Bible reading plans. Add to that the fact that we will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, and it makes sense to consider plans that identify readings throughout the year that were influential in the life and work of the early reformers. The 365 Day Reading Plan offering from YouVersion entitled “Reformation Reading Plan” is described this way:

We celebrate the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary with a call to the Word. This plan, as did the Reformers, accents:

  • The Word alone — Sola Scriptura
  • A “gospel” order (the Bible organized according to which books most influenced the Reformers)
  • Some grace each week
  • The use of the latest communication technology (from Gutenberg to YouVersion!)

This reading plan was assembled by the Michigan District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Application/audience

The reading plans contributed to YouVersion take different shapes and sizes. Some take you through the entire Bible, others focus on different themes. Some offer devotional thoughts, others just raw listings of Bible passages. The Reformation Reading Plan in simply a collection of Bible readings without commentary, but are specific to key chapters in the Bible that God used to clarify for theologians like Martin Luther the truth about law, gospel, grace, justification and sanctification.

YouVersion makes these plans available via their website at bible.com, but also on all their apps including iOS, Android, Amazon, etc. Each offers an easy way to check off read selections, enable reminder notifications/emails, as well as integrated solutions for highlighting, note-taking and even sharing with others. Their social features make it fun to share thoughts and also words of encouragement.

Related resources

If you are interested in other Bible reading plans you may want to consider:

See All Ministry Resources