You’ve heard it said that you can’t give something you don’t have, and that is so true even in our spiritual lives. As church workers, I believe we are all at a place of feeling completely exhausted or even utterly burnt out. This exhaustion isn’t just physical either. It’s emotional, mental, and spiritual. By being so involved in everything going on in our world today, we have to make sure we are taking care of ourselves first. It’s like when the flight attendant tells you to put your mask on first because you can’t help someone else if you aren’t breathing – it’s the same in church world. We need to put on our spiritual armor FIRST because we can’t help anyone else have what we ourselves don’t have.
Reading the Bible can become a mundane task that we end up checking off an already over-filled to-do list if we aren’t careful. Rather than it being a time of genuine worship, we end up reading a couple of verses then moving forward without truly taking time to reflect on God’s Word and what He wants us to hear so we can grow.
The S.O.A.P. journaling method has been a huge success in my life by helping me dive into deeper thinking that doesn’t require hours of my time.
Here’s how it works…
Read a passage of scripture (paragraph, section, chapter, etc. ). Then use the following method of journaling to help you display scripture itself and your thoughts as well.
S- Scripture. Choose 1-2 verses out of the passage you read that stand out to you the most. Write those verses down.
O- Observation. After writing the verses down, write down your observation of the details surrounding this passage. Who is this written for? Who is the author? What do you think God is trying to say to you in this passage?
A- Application. How does the Lord want you to apply this passage of scripture to your life right now?
P- Prayer. Write down a prayer your way to pray regarding these verses and what God has shown you in this reading.
By adopting this journaling method, you may very well be on your way to carving out time in your schedule to really dive deeper into God’s Word. The S.O.A.P. method has allowed me to really focus in on just a few verses of scripture at a time and I am able to retain more and meditate more on God’s Word. Grab a journal and give this a shot!