I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is the WORDsearch 11 Limited Bible Reference Library for Preachers & Pastors. Our Academic team helped write this post.
As a ministry leader, teacher, or group leader, it’s a blessed burden to teach God’s people. The blessing of being able to study and communicate the timeless and trustworthy Word of God is rich. Yet the responsibility is so weighty that it is a blessed burden. Studying the Word, praying, discerning direction from the Spirit, and crafting a message or lesson that meets people where they are requires time, energy, and focus. Yet in a world where we are constantly connected, it is increasingly challenging to carve out the focused time for preparation. Even with focused time blocked out on your schedule, here are four challenging realties of message preparation:
1. Life happens.
Even after having a blocked out time to work specifically on sermon creation or Bible study, life can happen. Emergencies emerge and tragedies happen. It’s even hard to ignore the phone when you know it could be an important update on someone’s life.
2. This is a complicated passage or topic.
The Bible is full of passages that can confuse even the most studied scholar. Understanding those passages and topics takes time, research, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It can be easy just to ignore those passages and topics instead of spending the necessary time on them.
3. There are so many resources.
How do you know which Bible dictionaries are the best? Which commentaries are trustworthy? There are so many books out there that it can be easy to get overwhelmed and not even try. Am I really going to trust the first site that pops up on a Google search with the people I am leading?
4. Can I say this in a new way?
We know we have the faith delivered once and for all to the saints, and the temptation to say something new can pull us from orthodoxy. But we want to teach the same truth in new ways, and this takes an incredible amount of time.
The challenges are real, but the blessing is greater. We get to study His Word. We get to communicate His character and works and commands to others. The blessing of communicating God’s Word outweighs the burden. The joy of studying His Word outweighs the discipline required to do so.
WORDsearch Bible is a resource that can help teachers and preachers with each of these challenges. It’s a digital library that lets you take your resources and notes with you everywhere you go. Parallel Bibles, Strong’s Dictionary, cross-referencing, word studies, your sermons, and notes—all in one organized space. The WORDsearch Limited Library is a Bible software package built specifically for church leaders. Including 195 commentaries, map books, Greek & Hebrew tools, handbooks, dictionaries, theology books, and more, it is the perfect way to research and find lesson material.