By Lindsay Peyton
Looking for a new way to study Scripture and build community? There’s an app for that. “Scripture+Shared” is a Bible Study ministry designed for groups of all sizes, whether they meet in person or online.
Topics include “Praying the Psalms,” “Journey to Jerusalem,” “Freedom: Life in the Spirit,” and “In the Beginning: A Study of Genesis.” New studies are added in the fall and spring of each year.
The materials were developed by pastors at St. Luke’s UMC in Houston.
Since the app’s launch in 2017, 14 Bible studies have been published. Each course lasts about eight weeks.
From the get-go, developer Rev. Katie Montgomery Mears said the app was created to be shared with other congregations. She recalled, “We asked, ‘What if we not only produce this for our people, but make it available to anyone who wants to use it?’”
The result is a free app, ready to download and foster discipleship. “Anyone can use it,” Montgomery Mears added. “The studies are professionally done, well-researched, academic and theologically sound.”
Other congregations in the Texas Annual Conference and the Louisiana Conference are using Scripture+Shared. Churches in other denominations are also enjoying the app.
The curriculum was designed to be meaningful and approachable. The courses are created for small groups, which can be self-led, Montgomery Mears said. The sessions can be completed by individuals or study partners.
Each week includes a video of two pastors sitting down at a table and leading the discussion. Then there are five daily readings that relate to a section of Scripture and a devotional. Each day there are a couple of questions to answer. Then, at the end of the week, there’s another video and prompts for a group discussion.
Some of the studies take deep dives into the Bible, like “The Book of Acts,” while others are more topical, like “Life Lessons from Jesus’ Followers” and “Storytime: the Parables of Jesus.”
The goal of each is to make Scripture applicable to everyday life. “You can put it to work immediately and let it change your week,” Montgomery Mears said.
The sessions are evergreen, she added, and designed to make sharing Scripture simple. “We believe that spiritual formation and growth happens best in communities when you study the Bible with other people,” she said. “That’s our goal. We want people to be disciples that love and live like Jesus.”
To download the app, visit Scriptureshared.com.