|Bringing Bible Study
to Your Parish
The risen Jesus said: “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking;
if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you” (Rev 3:20).
Serving the Church for more than 40 years!
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Let him invite
Bible as the
word of the
One of the great challenges of our church today is helping Catholics make
Bible study a regular part of their lives in Christ. Every parish must offer Bible
study for its people and no Catholic should ever feel compelled to go outside
their parish in order to study the Bible. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
enshrines these famous words of the Second Vatican Council: “Access to
sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian
faithful.” This goal must be a part of the mission of every parish.
Unfortunately the only model most pastoral ministers consider when
bringing Bible study to their parish is forming small groups. Sometimes this
model brings a good number of people to a weekly Bible study, but more
often than not it only results in a gathering of a few dozen people in a parish
of a few thousand members.
If the truth be told, most people don’t want to spend another hour a week at
church, but they certainly want to experience the Bible in a way
that makes a difference in their spiritual lives. If we are to make
access to Scripture open wide for all our church members, then we must
think of other ways.
Consider adopting Threshold Bible Study for your church and encouraging a
variety of ways your people may choose to experience it. Many will want to
study on their own, rather than with a small group. Some want to study as a
couple, as a family, or with a group of friends. Others will want to encourage
the study of one another by phone, e-mail, or instant messages. Many will
want to work Bible study into their busy lives by catching fifteen
minutes a day however they can.
By encouraging Threshold Bible Study in your church and respecting the
many ways people desire to make Bible study a regular part of their lives,
you will widen the number of people in your faith community who
study the Bible for a few minutes each day. You will thereby
encourage everyone in your faith community to learn the ancient method of
lectio divina and put it into practice in whatever way there are able in their
Simply decide with your church leadership which Threshold Bible Study to
adopt for your congregation. Then sign up people at the Sunday liturgy and
order bulk quantities for your church. Large orders will qualify for significant
discounts and unused books may be returned for credit. Encourage people to
follow the daily study as faithfully as they can through announcements at
Sunday liturgy, notices in parish publications, support on the parish website,
and other creative means that will motivate your parishioners. You will
probably also want to set up small groups at different times throughout the
week which members may join if they wish. In this way, a wide variety
of people in various stages of adult life will be encouraged to
make studying and praying the Bible a regular part of their lives in
Each book of Threshold Bible Study contains a section called “Suggestions for
Individual Study” and another called “Suggestions for Group Study,” offering
ideas and support for people using this work in a variety of contexts. Each
book also contains “Suggestions for Facilitators” for each of the six group
sessions that may be used to supplement the personal study of each
individual. Threshold Bible Study contains no separate leader’s guide, study
guide, or answer guide. Everything required for a parish Bible study is
contained in one book.
Order a copy of several different titles to review with your parish leadership. Set a goal to
bring a majority of the people of your parish into Bible study, and then create plans to
make it happen. Be creative, think broadly, and bring Bible study to
the adults of every stage of life in your parish.