Church #47. Meet Dan Brown. He is the current council president at St John’s Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, and he is the creator and writer of Everyday Bible Conversations (EBC).
What is EBC? Everyday Bible Conversations are a self and/or small group devotional to explore how the Sunday morning Bible stories are relevant to every day life. Each week, the people of St. John’s enjoy EBC’s as they focus on the story for the upcoming Sunday. Here’s why EBC’s are working:
- Accessibility is key! EBC is online only. It can be found on the church website, social media or app. People can join in the study where they are and at their own pace.
- Summarizes the main Bible points. EBC’s can be used even if the reader does not have the Bible handy.
- Questions matter. EBC’s don’t seek to provide the answers but questions to ponder.
- It’s connective! St. John’s uses an overall theme for the year, and 2019 is the year of Discipleship. In the EBC study, there are not only discussion questions about the story but questions on how the story relates to discipleship.
- EBC is action-orientated! Each week the EBC contains an “action step” to connect faith to daily life.
- Self-discovery is at the EBC core. Every EBC encourages the participant to search deep into God’s word and what it means to them personally.
Check out this sample: EBCs Week up to Aug 4th
Who is the EBC intended audience? EBC is a casual Bible study. Participants can “pop up” or “pop into” the Bible study online. Anyone can use it from daily Bible readers to newbies in the faith. The “target” audience is smartphone users pn social media in places where people gather such as coffee shop or lunch room.
How do you as a lay leader prepare?
- Tools and Prep: Brown uses his Lutheran Study Bible and Luther Seminary’s Working Preaching App. Brown says, “Sometimes Google helps, because Google is a part God’s creation, too!”
- Time Commitment: It takes between 90 minutes to 2 hours to reflect and write.
- It’s about the users: People are busy so EBC is meant to be brief, reliable, and always should include an “action step!” People on social media have a fast-paced attention span. EBC is a quick read, prompts questions, and keeps it real – with the end result being about self-discovery.
What’s the purpose of EBC? Why does it matter?
- After Sunday School and confirmation, many people have a casual and periodic relationship with the Bible. EBC seeks to meet people where they are and form new habits. Brown says, “There’s no reason a short, thought-provoking blurb about the Bible shouldn’t be a click away! And if it leads to an Action Step victory or a change of perspective, or just a verbal hug, its well-worth it!”
- One thing I have loved is teaching confirmation classes with my kids. Brown says, “I did not identify as a Bible reader, but I found I absolutely loved my own sense of discovery in opening up passages I’d never read, or finding out more about passages I thought I already knew!” Brown is clear that he is not a Bible scholar or telling people what to think. He just loves “the excuse to continue faith discovery” and share his love of the Bible with others. At St John’s, we love that he does it! One last thing Brown said that is encouraging: “I believe the Bible has something meaningful to say to everyone about everyday life – not as a matter of piety or religious mandate, but because God is with us in our earthly reality! Why wouldn’t God’s book speak to our everyday lives, too?”
For more information on this story, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.