Read the Bible


The seven arrows of Bible reading is a tool which aims for proper hermeneutics to power small personal (2-3 people) discipling relationships. Rather than getting people to simply talk about the Bible, the goal of the 7 arrows is to help people understand the Bible and know how to apply it to their lives.

7 Arrows was developed at The Church at Cherrydale, and shared by Teaching Pastor, Matt Rogers. You can read more from Matt here.

Arrow 1: Start by summarizing the main point of the passage as succinctly as possible, ideally in one sentence.

Arrow 2: Seek to discern authorial intent for the passage by asking what it meant to its original audience. Since a text of Scripture can never mean what it never meant, it is necessary to begin by discerning what the text meant. Often this may require the clusters to consult other study tools or cross-reference other Biblical texts to arrive at the meaning of the text.

Arrow 3: Ask what the text tells us about the nature and character of God and specifically His work through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Arrow 4: Analyze the text to see what it tells us about humanity and specifically sin and mankind’s need for the gospel. Bryan Chappell refers to this as the “fallen condition focus” of the text.

Arrow 5: Now that you are rooted in the meaning of the text, you are positioned to rightly apply its meaning to your lives.

Arrow 6: Apply the Scripture to your relationships with others. Ideally, discuss how the text shapes both how you relate to other believers and how you live on mission in the world.

Arrow 7: Pray, rooted in the Scriptures. Hopefully, the previous six arrows kindles the flames of passionate prayer in your lives– both for your own sanctification and for your mission to the lost.


It’s as simple as this: Spend 30 minutes with a short passage. Write down 30 things you see or learn.

Timothy Keller wrote about “30 Things” in his book Encounters with Jesus – Unexpected answers to Life’s Biggest Questions.

Begin by praying.

Father, you have brought me to you.  Here I am with my attention and distractions, my faith and doubts, my love and fears, my worship and needs.  I ask you to quiet my heart and mind so that I can hear your voice. Allow your Word to speak to me in whatever way you wish.  Give me your wisdom to understand and act on what you say to me.   I come before you, confident in your love, in Jesus name.  (Add your own prayer.)

Spend the next 30 minutes with your chosen verse.  You may want to write it out and close your Bible to better focus on just this verse.  Write down at least 30 things you see or learn.  At the end of the 30 minutes, circle your top 3 insights.

Add a twist by doing “30 Things” with your friends.  Come together and share your top two insights and see where the conversation goes.



The 4 R’s have been used by the Church as the framework for our lifeGroup discussions around God’s Word. It is a simple tool for engaging together with God’s Word, and is a great pattern to learn and use in personal devotions. The questions listed aren’t intended as the questions you only use, but as the category for questions you might ask in that section of the discussion.



What does the passage say?

At first you need to observe the passage closely, like a detective. Become familiar with the detail. Try to determine exactly what the author was communicating to the original recipients.

In this step, you might ask:
What happened?
What was taught?



What does it mean?

Now take the information from step #1 and compare it with other related verses of Scripture to find the primary principle of this passage.

In this step, you might ask:
What was one principle/lesson the writer or God was trying to communicate?
Why do you think God put this in the Bible?



How should this principle impact my life? (marriage, work, family, ministry, social life, friendships)

The goal of the Bible study is knowing God and His will for my life, so this step is probably the most important one, Ask God to show you how the principle from step #2 directly applies to your life.

In this step, you might ask:
What does this mean today?
How should this principle impact my life?


How can I remember it?

This is where you creatively try to remember the principle you have discovered. If it’s worth applying to our lives, it’s worth remembering. Be creative, engage different senses.

In this step, you might:
Ask someone to check in with you twice a week to see how you are doing with applying this principle.
Write a letter to your future self, and have a friend send it to you in a few weeks.
Decide to bake cookies for a neighbor and/or invite them over for dinner.