By Robin Sam
October 05, 2009 | 05:26:19

‘LEARN to study the Bible’ was born, according to Pastor Andy Deane’s own admission, out of a botched attempt to teach a group of teenagers ‘a few basic inductive Bible study principles.’ Andy was well-meaning alright but he taught them a method of Bible study that was complicated and presented it as if that was the only way to study Scripture. When failure stared him in the face, he decided to teach himself the basics of Bible study first. He read over 30 books on Bible study, looked up various websites and discovered there were several other methods. None was perfect but he decided to give them all a try. In the process, he realized he had hit upon innumerable inspiring and challenging methods to study the Bible. And what more, they were suitable for the young and the old alike. With a voluminous output after almost two years of painstaking research work, he wrote the book ‘LEARN to studythe Bible - Forty different step-by-step methods to help you discover, apply and enjoy God’s Word.’ | Read a FREE chapter from the book on our e-paper |

THE CHRISTIAN MESSENGER caught up with Andy Deane, associate pastor at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge in New Jersey, USA, recently. Excerpts from an exclusive interview:

Did the enormity of the task unnerve you?

Yes! In the beginning there were times that I almost gave up because I knew I still had over a year’s worth of work left to do on this project. But the Lord continued to give me a passion for the work He was calling me to do. God used some of my friends to encourage me to keep with it in those dry moments. My wife Shannon was instrumental in the entire project. I could not have done any of it without her assistance and support.

You were a theology student yourself. How did your Bible college experience help you in the writing of the book?

The experiences the Lord gave me in ministry and study have helped me to learn to hear God’s voice when He calls us. He clearly inspired me to do this project to get others more excited about studying the Scriptures. If I doubted for a moment that God didn’t call me to this, then I would have quit. But I had to keep reminding myself that God told me to write this book, so I must do it.

Out of the 40 methods you have explained, what are your personal favorites?

I can honestly say that I love the variety most of all. The fact that I can choose a different method each week and have a year’s worth of options for how I can study the Bible. If I had to choose a few personal favorites I would say the Heart Monitor Method, Biblical Topics Method, and the Skeptics Method. I can honestly say that I love the variety most of all. The fact that I can choose a different method each week.

How long do you usually spend reading and studying the Bible?

I enjoy personal devotion time in the morning for about 30 minutes before work. During the day I’ll spend more time studying different chapters of the Bible that I am teaching /preaching that week and that usually takes much longer.

How important was prayer in the making of the book?

Prayer was how God confirmed in my heart that this venture was of Him! I heard Him clearly direct me to do this project. Prayer is also the most important step of each Bible study method as well! Only the Holy Spirit can teach us the Scriptures!

How long did the research and writing of the book take?

It took about 1.5 years to complete this project from start to finish. I read over 30 books on how to study the Bible as I researched many of these methods. Then putting them all together and organizing and modifying them took many months.

How were you convinced that you actually have a good book to publish?

I knew this would be a unique book when the Lord gave me the idea. I knew that there were no resources as similar to this book in print. Other books mostly focus on one single method. To include such a large variety would hopefully get people excited about breaking their normal routines to keep things fresh in their devotional time.

How many publishers did you approach with the manuscript? And what were their reactions?

I self published because it is hard to approach a publisher without having a famous name. Now that the book is selling well I am going to approach some popular Christian publishers to see if they’d like to take on the project to bring it to a larger audience.

How’s the book doing in the US market sales?

The book's doing well. We sold 1,000 books in the first few months.

What’s your next book project going to be?

I have some ideas, but honestly I would prefer to focus on using this current book to disciple the people that God has put in my life. I enjoy teaching people how to study the Bible for themselves and I am going to hold off on writing another book until I clearly hear from the Lord that it is time to do more. It’s not easy. It consumed all of my free time for almost two years. I’m enjoying the extra time with my wife and church now that the project is over. It’s up to God. | Read the interview on our e-paper | Buy the book |

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