Additional resources from the Make and Deepen DISCIPLES Team
We are so excited to have you join us with the Covenant Community Bible Experience. Below you will find resources to help you and your church get the most out of CBE, along with additional content curated by the Make and Deepen Disciples team.
Select one of the options below to see how you can engage that group with CBE.
Here are resources to help you plan and promote CBE.
The Community Bible Experience (CBE) is all about inviting people into a fresh encounter with the Holy Scriptures. Glenn Paauw’s book Saving the Bible from Ourselves (IVP) explains the paradigm shift behind the new ways of reading expressed in CBE. The Bible was significantly re-formed in the modern period, leading to new Bible practices that distorted what we thought the Bible was and what we thought we were supposed to do with it. What can we do to foster a rediscovery of the Bible God actually gave us? Welcome to the Elegant, Feasting, Historical, Storiented, Earthly, Synagogue, and Iconic Bibles!
Children and Family Resources
Biblica has created some wonderful resources to allow families to take part in CBE. We have also put together some more resources to help supplement your time with your children and family.
Use this audio adaptation of The Books of the Bible to explore the New Testament with your children. The kids’ audio version includes a 10-15 minute episode for each day of your Community Bible Experience reading campaign.
Children’s Ministry Curriculum
The scope of Community Bible Experience reading each week makes it challenging to focus in on one idea. However, the lessons that have been selected from the “Adventure with God” curriculum for each week contain a portion of the weekly Bible reading and focus on a major theme so there is consistency within the reading plan. Churches are also encouraged to use the five CBE discussion questions as part of each session for the middle and older age group. Click on an age group below to download the curriculum.
Small group questions for the family
Each day, before you listen to the audio together, be sure to listen carefully to the narrator’s introduction. They often give some helpful context and ideas to think about while listening. Below you can download a pdf of specific questions that the narrator asks, written out for you. It’s often helpful to ask this question to your children BEFORE listening to the audio! It acts as a pre-reading activity so that as they’re listening, they’re listening for the answer to your question! After listening, see if you can answer the question together.
How to read the bible with children
Tips for engaging children from ages 2-10 in the Bible. Includes age appropriate Bible suggestions, developmental considerations and creative ideas on how to explore the Bible with children.
Download the resource here >
Parent Tip: For younger children, consider selecting a picture bible and read through the New Testament portion together as a complementary alternative to the CBE reading plan.
How to Engage in Conversations about God
“God Conversations” provides insight on where each of us is in our daily walk with Christ, helping us see where we are flourishing and where we are struggling. Such authentic conversations will enable us to support and encourage children in their journey with Christ as you explore God’s Word together. Download the resource here >
MY GROW Adventure story with god
Life with God is an adventure! This small booklet enables children to write and share their story with God by providing space for children to reflect and write or draw the tangible ways they journey with God. This resource is appropriate for children ages 5-12. Download the resource here >
Church Tip: Create spaces for children to share stories about their Community Bible Experience. This can be in worship, in children’s ministry, or in club ministries. They can even use their My GROW Adventure with God story booklets (see above) as a guide for sharing.
10 creative ways of praying with children
There are many ways of praying, and this resource will have children begging to pray. “Tips for Encouraging Children to Pray” includes ten great ideas for expanding the prayer life of children and families.
Download the resource here >
Parent Tip: As you spend time with children in conversations with God and encourage children to write their own story with God, it will enable them to naturally share their faith story with others.
Calling All Youth Workers! The CBE initiative is a great opportunity for your church and youth group to come together and be transformed by the living and breathing Word of God. Whether you have teenage only community groups or intergenerational groups, we want to support you with the following resources. We believe the material is great as a stand-alone reading opportunity, but consider some of the following options as you prepare to engage in the Community Bible Experience with your youth in this season.
Biblica has put together 5 simple questions to help prompt discussion in your community groups. We have put together a set of 5 questions that are specifically geared towards teenage community groups:
1. Put in your own words the central idea of this section.
2. What makes sense and what doesn’t make sense?
3. What is one thing you can relate to from this reading?
4. If this passage was to examine your own life, what would it point out
5. How can you share this idea with someone you care about?
We’ve put together a Spotify playlist inspired by artists that played at CHIC 2015. Feel free to use this any way you would like. A few ideas: 1. Listen to it while you are doing your daily readings. 2. Have it playing in the background during your community group. 3. Use it for epic rounds of musical chairs.
Resources for Evangelism
Many churches have found CBE is a fantastic evangelism tool. This list of proven ways to use CBE for evangelism will help your congregations make the most of this opportunity to reach out to unchurched friends.
Invite, invite, invite…
Encourage people to invite their neighbors to a book club experience for 8 weeks. Reach out to your FRANC list. Who’s that? Make a list of Friends, Relatives, Acquaintances, Neighbors and Coworkers who are far from God. A FRANC list helps you to think inside and outside your immediate box of people who might be interested in attending a book club on the New Testament. Begin by praying for those on your FRANC list to become curious, open, and available to an invitation to CBE. Ask someone from your FRANC list to join you for CBE. If they say no tell them you hope they’ll join you another time and go on to invite the next person on your FRANC list.
Use fresh language that connects to culture for invitations. Drop Christian cliché’s and church-ey language when inviting and facilitating a study with unchurched people. Here’s an example of how you can talk about CBE in a way that connects to people outside the church:
CBE is more like a book club. It’s a space where we can have honest open conversation about the Bible, where we come and experience the Bible together and get swept up in the story. Join us for a fresh conversation about the Scriptures.
Post CBE invitations on public forum venues and social media… Post CBE invitations where the public gets their information on instagram, snapchat, facebook, work, living space and neighborhood forums.
Equip church attenders with invitations to use to invite family, friends and colleagues to a CBE book club. For instance:
We’re having a book club for 8 weeks where were going to read the New Testament to open up a new conversation about the Bible. We want to get swept up into the story in fresh ways and in community. It’s inclusive. It’s intergenerational and we’d love to have you join us.
Encourage college ministry, young adults, highschool and middle school students to ask friends to do CBE with them.
Run bulletin inserts that remind people to invite friends who are far from God that might be ready to be in a book club on the New Testament.
Try offering at least one CBE group “out there” at an offsite venue to bridge to your community.
Coffee shops, cafes, public library & apartment community rooms, the YMCA or gym, the local pub, and work lunch rooms are great gathering places where book clubs commonly meet.
ask outreach friendly type questions
If you’re doing this with non Christians for the first time you might ask some of these more “unchurched friendly” questions:
1. What was surprising for you?
2. What did you read that resonated with you?
3. What was a challenge for you?
4. What would you like more information on?
5. Do you sense God is speaking to you through this passage and if so what is he saying?
6. What are Jesus’ expectations of his followers?
Resources – Alpha
CBE is a great follow-up or “Beta” for Alpha. Your church may consider starting CBE on the heels of Alpha funneling Alpha grads to CBE as the next step in their discipleship pathway. Conversely, CBE can serve as a pre-Alpha experience or a conduit for fueling Alpha by launching Alpha a week or two after the conclusion of CBE as the next step for people in their spiritual journey.
Consider running CBE on the same night as Alpha. CBE folks can enjoy dinner together first with the Alpha participants and then divide into peer or intergenerational Community Bible Experience groups.