Vicky Bolton leads the Discipleship Bible School for YWAM (Youth With a Mission). She talks to Julia Faire about 'inductive' bible study.
It’s Saturday morning – and ‘feast day’ for many of us! Once a month around 40 of us, from different churches in and around Birmingham, Nuneaton, Coventry and Northants descend on one of YWAM’s training centres, the King’s Lodge, for a morning of inductive Bible study led by Vicky Bolton. This is an entirely new approach to reading the Bible for most of us – this time a year ago most of us had never heard of it. Now, everyone is gathering and we’re just itching to get started … pens, coloured crayons and a print out of Paul’s letter to the Galatians at the ready!
First of all though, a couple of questions for Vicky: “So, what is your story and just why are you so passionate about teaching inductive study?”
“I always believed in God and was brought up in a Christian home in Towcester, Northants, but I had never experienced Him. As soon as I was old enough, I stayed at home, away from church. After a few years of ‘off the rails’ living, I was invited to a service at Holy Trinity Brompton.
“My years away from church hadn’t deadened my spiritual hunger – far from it! Basically, I knew the truth but I really wanted to know the God that’s alive! I was always in internal conflict because I didn’t want religion but I did want God. That evening, as I looked around the church, I was struck by the fact that everyone looked so normal! Then, at the end of the service, the Vicar, Sandy Millar, invited the Holy Spirit to come. All I can say is that ‘Holy Spirit fun’ broke out in the room! As for me – inside I became aware of a raging argument: ‘I want what I’m seeing here! God is here!’ but an inward voice also spoke back: ‘You can’t have it! Look what you’ve done!’
“Then I started laughing! I didn’t say a ‘sinners’ prayer but inwardly I had chosen – ‘I WANT GOD!’ My whole life changed in that moment.
“Soon after my visit to Holy Trinity, I went to Australia for a year. Two significant things happened there: I jumped off the career ladder (I was a veterinary nurse) and I heard about YWAM. When I came home I realised I didn’t want to climb back on the ladder of career and housing again – I wanted adventure! Our youth pastor gave me some leaflets on opportunities open to me and, as I scanned through them, it was the YWAM leaflet with their stated aim, ‘To know God and make Him known’ which struck the deepest chord in me. I decided to give them a go. Where was the nearest YWAM base? Well, the King’s Lodge, just down the road! In 1998 I did my year of DTS (Discipleship Training School) and on 11 September 2001 (a date never to forget!) I joined the Kings’ Lodge as a member of staff.
“At the moment I lead the Discipleship Bible School – teaching at the King’s Lodge and other YWAM bases around the country. I’m shortly going to Canada, Iceland and Norway to teach there too. I’m also engaged in our growing ministry to support the local churches around Nuneaton.
“Why am I so passionate about inductive Bible study? I’ve been on a journey. Bible study once seemed so complicated. Since being introduced to the inductive method myself, I long to empower others to show them how easy it is. To sit and look and look and look again at the Word makes for profound reading – but it is also so simple.
“Inductive Bible study is not all about me and what I teach – it is giving people the tools so we can learn together. I love how the text answers our own questions – we just need to read it!
“We don’t have to be deep scholars to get to grips with the Bible – rather we need to come to its pages with child-like hearts and read. People’s response, when introduced to the inductive method is often, “I can do it!”
“My great love is for the Midlands, where I come from. I would love our service of inductive Bible training to grow – and become all that God wants it to be. As yet I don’t know what that is. I long, too, for the miraculous, Holy-Spirit healing and lives to change, as we simply sit and open ourselves to His Word.”
“I rave about the inductive method of Bible study I’ve learned. People in the New Testament have become real flesh and blood people to me, with issues and problems just like us. It has bridged the gap between the ‘then’ of when the texts were first written and the ‘now’.” – Yvonne
“I’ve found it so helpful to learn to ask the question, ‘What did it mean to the first readers?’ and only then ask, ‘what does it mean for us today?” – Grzegorz
“The inductive training has taught me a skill that enables me to find a lot more treasure in familiar scriptures.” – Andy
For more information about Saturday morning inductive Bible training at the King’s Lodge, email email@example.com. For more information about YWAM’s online inductive Bible course click here.