True Story Project

Whole Church / Whole Bible / Whole Year

Welcome

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The vision of Redemption Tempe is to make disciples who “live all of life, all for Jesus.”

We long to see our city filled with men and women who deeply love God and sacrificially love their neighbors. We long to see neighborhoods filled with Christ-like ambassadors of friendship and gospel proclamation. We long to see every industry filled with the faithful witness of excellent work that contributes to the common good. We long to see families as launch pads for worship and mission. And we long to see every issue of public life engaged with wisdom and vision that comes from a Biblical worldview.

Therefore, we are launching a project to lead the whole church to read through the whole Bible for a whole year. Our hope is that this will saturate our community in the only story that can give meaning to all of life, and shape a community based on Gospel-infused love.

The True Story

The Bible is the true story of the whole world. It provides a life-defining  lens through which to see the world, often called a “worldview.” The Bible gives meaning to everything — from the rhythms of family life to the decisions of public life, from the discernment of vocation to the choice of our location, from our conduct among friends to our response toward so-called enemies. And preeminently, it’s the story of the God who invites us to know him and experience the love of Christ.

Historically, when the church has understood the nature of the story and how to live within it, she has initiated some of the most life-giving movements and institutions the world has seen: hospitals, universities, the abolition of the slave trade, sanctity of life, etc.

However, when Christians have misunderstood, distorted, or chosen to live within a false and idolatrous story, we have misused the Bible to endorse things like slavery, domestic violence, apartheid, genocide, etc. Therefore, it’s vitally important that we, as a church, immerse ourselves in the Bible, seeking to understand its message and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

The Word of God is the True Story of the whole world. Join us as we immerse ourselves in this True Story as a whole church through the whole Bible for a whole year.

Welcome to The True Story Project.

How to Engage:

1) Bible Reading Plan: We’re inviting each person who is a part of Redemption Tempe to use a common reading plan. We have partnered with The Bible Project to provide you a plan that takes you through the entire bible in one year.

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

  • Daily Reading: The scriptures are divided up into sixteen sections and organized in semi-chronological order. You’ll read two or three chapters a day. Along with a reading plan for adults, you will also find a reading plan for children through the Jesus Storybook Bible.
  • Daily Psalm: We’ve also listed one Psalm for each day. Rather than an in-depth study of the Psalm, we encourage you to slowly pray through it, making its words your own. By the end of the year, you’ll have prayed through the book of Psalms 2.5 times.
  • Bible Project Videos: Whenever you come to the next book of the Bible there will be a short animated video on The Bible Project website about that book’s design and message and what to look for as you read. You will also find theme videos relating to several topics that appear throughout Scripture.

2) Redemption Community: It’s important to engage scripture in community. Therefore our Redemption Communities (small groups) will be focused on discussing and responding to what we read in the Bible Reading Plan. Email (add link) to get connected to a Redemption Community.

3)  SQUID Approach: We’ve created a simple approach that will help you understand the Biblical story, shape your vision of the world, and to hear from the living God as you read scripture. We’re inviting everyone to use this method in their individual reading and as the basis for their discussions in Community.

4) Resources: We’ve provided several resources to help you engage scripture this year, including:

  • True Story Table: Visit our table in the lobby to find good books and resources.
  • Redemption Tempe Podcast: A dynamic conversation about The True Story Project answering questions from the Bible and reflecting on the implications for All of Life.
  • True Story resource list: Find a current list of media and print resources on our Resource Page.

For a full and updated list of resources, please visit the True Story area of our website: tempe.redemptionAZ.com/true-story-project

If you have any questions about The True Story Project, please contact us at tempe@redemptionaz.com.


Visit our True Story Project Resources Page
The SQUID Approach

Listening to the Whole Story for the Wholeness of Life

The goal of the SQUID Approach is to provide a basic framework to help you engage scripture in a way that helps you understand the Biblical story, its implications for all of life, and your place within that story.

The aim is to provide some helpful patterns of Bible engagement to help you encounter the living God by intentionally listening to His word. Just as a dinner table is only as meaningful as the meals shared around it, this approach to reading scripture is only valuable in so far as it contributes to a relational encounter with God.

Consider this method as calamari on the table as you feast with God. It contributes to the fellowship, but it’s not nearly as valuable as the relationship!

We’ve chosen the word “SQUID,” as an acronym to describe each step of this approach:

S – Summarize: Creatively summarize this part of God’s Story in a way that helps you remember and retell it to others.

Q- Questions: What questions do you have about this part of the Story?

U- Understood: Imagine how the original audience would have understood what God was revealing.

I – Implications: What are the implications for all of life?

D – Do:  How is God inviting you to respond?

SQUID Approach:  Step-by-Step

1) Summarize:  Creatively summarize this part of God’s Story in a way that helps you remember and retell it to others.

Take a few minutes to re-tell this part of God’s Story to yourself. There are many ways to summarize the text.

For example, you could:

  • Summarize this section in your own words
  • Make an outline with bullet points
  • Draw a diagram
  • Artistic Expression: poem, song, pictures, etc

The goal is to help you remember this part of the story, emphasizing the significant actions and themes rather than intricate details. Feel free to be as simple or creative as you like while summarizing this part of the Story.

2) Question: What questions do you have about this part of the Story?

Make a list of questions about the things you don’t understand in the text. Seek to answer some of these questions as you prayerfully read scripture and use the resources in your study Bible. Don’t just ask questions about God, but ask these questions to God in prayer.

Also, it’s vitally important that we listen to scripture in community. Therefore, if you are in a small group, bring the questions up for the group to prayerfully discuss together.

The goal isn’t to comprehensively answer each question, but to grow in your understanding of God’s Word. Feel free to ask any questions of the text, but also learn to be comfortable with the fact that not all questions can be answered, and that’s okay.

Goal: to clarify what you don’t understand about the text.

3) Understood: Imagine how the original audience would have understood what God was revealing to them.

The Bible was written in a different historical time, place, language, and culture. Rather than immediately applying scripture to your life, spend some time trying to imagine how the original audience would have understood these words. Although it’s impossible to be completely objective as we engage scripture, it’s important to try to understand the original purpose for which this part of scripture was written.

Goal: To understand why this part of the story originally written.  

Helpful Questions:

  • What’s happening in the historical and cultural context of this passage?
  • What was God revealing about himself, his people, and/or his world in this text?
  • What does this text reveal about God’s mission in the world?  
  • What’s the big message of this book of the Bible, and how does this particular text fit within the overall story of the Bible?
  • How does this text point to Jesus and his Kingdom?

4) Implications: What are the implications for all of life?

Once you have a sense of what God was doing in the original context, reflect on the implications for life today. Many people tend to only apply the Bible to their individual life, but the Bible is the True Story of the whole world, and gives us a lens through which to view every aspect of life.

Take a few moments to prayerfully reflect on the implications for the various domains of life. Here are a few categories to think through:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Church
  • Politics
  • Specific cultural issues (i.e. technology, sanctity of life, racism, etc.)

Prayerfully choose one or two of these to reflect on.

Goal: To see all of life, all for Jesus.

5) Do: How is God inviting you to respond?

Remember that the Bible is not a dry textbook. As you read scripture, listen for what God brings to your mind and heart, and try to discern how he wants you to respond. Draw near to the relational God who knows you, and makes himself known through Scripture. Listen for his personal invitation to you. What parts of the text is he drawing you to? In light of what you have read, what do you sense God inviting you to do? He might be inviting you to sit in silence, repent of specific sins, tangibly serve a friend, weep over the brokenness of the world, etc.

Listening to God takes practice, and it’s very possible to distort what he’s saying. Therefore, please remember that the Holy Spirit won’t lead you to do anything that’s contrary to his Word.  Also, it’s important to get counsel from other believers as you listen to God in community.

Goal: To listen and obey.

Two ways to use the SQUID Approach:

  • Weekly SQUID (17-22 minutes per day): Take notes as you complete your daily reading plan. Choose one day per week to review your notes and then use the SQUID Approach to reflect on your reading from that week.

or

  • Daily SQUID (23-41 minutes per day): Use the SQUID Approach to reflect on your reading each day.

Advice for Reading:

  • Whole mind. As you read Scripture, engage both the linear, logical aspects of your mind as well as the imaginative, creative aspects. God gave you both; love him with both. 
  • Whole heart: Engage your emotions as you read. Try to empathize with the experience of the people in the Bible. Seek to encounter God, knowing his heart and sharing your deepest emotions with him.
  • Whole story: Since the Bible is the True Story of the whole world, it’s important to read and understand the whole arc of this story. Rather than focusing on one or two verses, try to understand the meaning of larger portions. Studying individual verses is good, but always keep verses in the context of whole paragraphs, paragraphs in context of the whole books, and whole books in the context of the larger Biblical story.
  • Whole life: The Bible speaks to more than our individual lives; it’s the lens through which we understand the whole world. It has implications for the way we engage work, family, society, and every cultural issue we wrestle with. The Bible doesn’t have a specific verse for every issue, but provides us a lens through which to look at all of life.
3 Ways to Get Connected to Community Bible Engagement

  • Open Bible Studies: On Wednesday nights, we will offer open bible studies for men and women. During this time, the daily reading from The True Story Project reading plan will be read, discussed utilizing the SQUID approach, and there will also be a time of prayer. This is a great opportunity to gain greater understanding of how to use SQUID, connect with other people, and meet some of the leaders of Redemption Tempe. This is a low commitment opportunity to connect with people and see how the bible shows us  how to live all of life all for Jesus.

>> To get involved, simply show up on Wednesdays at 6:30pm in the sanctuary. (Will not be held on 1st Wednesday of the month, but we encourage you to go to our FIRST WEDNESDAY event, same time and place.) A limited number of spots will be available for childcare, please register here

  • Redemption Communities (RC’s): RC’s provide a great way to engage in highly committed community. Most RC’s meet three times a month to apply and refresh the gospel to all of life. The expectation is that these communities take precedence. Regular participation is vital to the success of individual’s experience with the RC and for the group’s health and effectiveness. For those interested in joining an RC, we highly recommend participating in our DNA class. DNA is offered six times a year, it is a 4 week class in which we describe who we are, what we do, and how RC can be best engaged.

>> To sign up for DNA check our event calendar here  

  • Organic Communities: Organic communities are for pre-existing groups of friends that are looking to engage the True Story Project together. We still recommend participating in DNA class and registering as a group. We encourage this so that we can notify you of resources, coaching sessions, and leaders training that we offer throughout the year.

>> To learn more about Organic Communities, contact Will Vucurevich at willvucurevich@redemptionaz.com  

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