I’ve made (and eaten) more chocolate chip cookies than I care to admit. Over the years, I’ve learned a really good batch of chocolate chip cookies calls for certain high-quality ingredients in the appropriate amounts, mixed together in a certain way. To leave out one of these ingredients, or to mix them out of order would lead to some dissatisfying and perhaps disastrous results.
Participating in Urbana is like making a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Each part of the conference is a high-quality ingredient, carefully measured out and ready to be mixed in at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. Whether it is a general session in the Dome, or a seminar in the afternoon, or spending time in the Exhibit Hall, or a meal eaten with other attendees, each part plays a critical role in helping you have the best possible experience at Urbana.
Bible study is another of those key ingredients in the Urbana “recipe”. The Scripture passages we’ll be studying in the mornings have been chosen with much prayer and thought. The morning manuscript Bible studies, in particular, are crucial ingredients to your Urbana experience for three reasons.
1. The Gospel of Matthew is the backbone of Urbana 15.
Of the nine passages from Matthew we’ll study at Urbana, four will be studied during the morning manuscript Bible studies. Since these passages are the basis for everything that will happen at Urbana 15, the more you invest in listening to these passages, the better posture you’ll be in to receive what God wants to give you at Urbana. These times of manuscript study in the morning will be integral to helping you connect the Scriptural “dots” at Urbana.
2. Manuscript Bible study happens in community.
Each morning at Urbana you will have the opportunity to gather around a section of Matthew’s gospel with a group of other Urbana participants. You’ll meet with the same group of people on four consecutive mornings to share observations, ask questions, wrestle with the text’s meaning and choose applications for your life. This interpretive community will provide an environment where God’s truth can take root in your heart and begin to blossom and grow in ways that typically don’t happen on your own.
3. You’ll learn a method of Bible study that has helped countless people and ministries grow.
In the morning manuscript sessions we study the Bible inductively. People who use this method often come away with a renewed love for God’s Word and a desire to use this method in their personal study, in their campus groups, and in their churches. When you come to the morning sessions, you’ll learn the inductive method for yourself, and you’ll be able to pass it along to others.
Making and eating too many chocolate chip cookies may not be the best thing for any of us, but making time to read and study and grow from God’s Word is always a good thing. As you prepare to attend Urbana 15 try reading through Matthew’s gospel in its entirety. And then make your Urbana experience really extraordinary through manuscript Bible study and Bible teaching. It’s going to be amazing!