S.O.A.P is a doable, sustainable, practical way to get to know the Bible.
In the Bible we discover the heart of God, but it is deeply embedded. A single verse or superficial understanding won’t capture it, just like with a person. Long, close-up knowledge is needed to discover the heart of someone, so expect your relationship with the Bible to slowly grow and unfold over time too. The Bible is complicated and a reflection of many very real people's lives. As you spend time with it, expect to see your own real life reflected there too.
Whether you’ve never cracked open the Bible or lived with it for years, using the S.O.A.P. process (see below) can give God a chance to speak to your here and now through these long-standing writings.
All you need for S.O.A.P. are paper, a pen, 10-minutes and a bible (or Google). Here’s how it works. Find a small section to read (find suggestions with each week’s message outline) and then:
S: Select a sentence, word or phrase that sticks out to you and write it down.
O: Observe. This reminds me of… I noticed… I wonder… I can relate to… I can’t relate to… (This might flow into the next before you know it…)
A: Apply. Why did this jump out to ME, today? What is God up to here? Wonder here too. Just keep writing, trying on ideas, listening. (This might flow into the next before you know it…)
P: Pray. Write this down too – your insights, questions, curiosities, disturbances, inspirations… bring them to this open honest conversation with God (and remember to listen).
S.O.A.P. can become a personal daily practice for you. Connecting with others about it will make it even more powerful. That’s why we weave it into the Sunday conversations and GroupLife.
Stuck or skeptical? What’s with all the destruction of wicked people? Here’s a 10-min podcast about that. And these short videos with Greg Meyer help open up what’s so powerful (and what can get you stuck) about the Bible.