Bible Journaling 101
What is Bible journaling 101? This term can mean so much in our Jesus culture. It can mean simple taking notes in your Bible to decorating it with stickers, paint, and glitter. The heart of any Bible journaling is to “get more” out of the Bible. But where do we start?
Because I love to share resources on how to study the Bible deeper, longer, and with intention, I decided to write this post for the beginner. This is by FAR not exhaustive, and I do want to give you some tools and tips in order to get you started. These ten steps to Bible journaling will get you going, but it will be up to you to keep it going. Don’t forget to download these steps at the bottom of this post!
10 Steps to Start Bible Journaling
1. The best place to begin will be with your Bible. Choose a Bible you will read, but also one that is a good translation. I don’t get into the translation debate, but I will recommend you get a large print Bible or one that is called “journaling.” The reason is you want lots of margin space to keep notes! I used a large print Bible all through college and loved making notes as I read. I have a single column journaling Bible now and I love the extra space on the sides to take notes.
2. For Bible journaling, if you don’t want to write in your Bible – and even if you do – it is important to have another blank journal. Don’t worry about what to write (that will come next). Just get a journal or notebook you will use. Some tips about choosing the right notebook is to find one roughly the same size as your Bible so they stack and travel neatly and find a notebook or journal that is lined.
3. Choose the right pens. I know this is super tedious and seemingly insignificant, but it is key. The wrong kind of pen will bleed through your Bible’s pages or the pages of your journal. Choose a pen that is comfortable and writes well. I would also suggest getting a highlighter or colored pencils, but those are not necessary.
4. Having a good plan is one of my favorite mottos. If you aren’t much of a planner, I’m sorry. But I am so in love with having a plan. You will find a list of my reading plans here. Getting a plan allows you to know where you are going. The Bible is a big book and can be very overwhelming. Do we start at the beginning? What if we are struggling in a certain area? My reading plans are great places to start.
5. What will you write in your Bible or journal? Start simple is my first advice. Maybe just underline or jot down stars next to the verses or words you like. You can even write little question marks next to things you don’t understand. God’s word is meant to be understood, but that doesn’t mean the first time you read it you will hav perfect understanding. Don’t worry if you have questions. One of the things I love to do starting out is underline or make a note of all of the names of God I see in my verse or passage.
6. As you get comfortable highlighting, underlining, and observing you can write somethings you learn as you read. What does this passage tell me about God? What does it tell me about myself? Does this spark conviction, change, or encouragement?
7. Another great way to journal is to simple respond in prayer. Just write a small (or even long) prayer after reading in response to the passage. I love doing this with the Book of Psalms. It is a book of songs and prayers, so I can easily respond in my heart to the beautiful poetry.
8. Keep going, even when you miss a day. You will miss a day. And that’s why none of my Bible reading plans are dated. It isn’t about perfection but about consistency. If you’ve been busy, don’t worry. Just start again where you left off. It is one of the reasons I love Bible journaling with a plan as well. It is easy to begin again.
9. Begin with the passages you know. If you have been a reader of the Bible for awhile, we might be tempted to go to section we aren’t familiar with. I would say start where you know. Look again at the old verses and chapters you’ve read over and over again. I’m sure you will find lots of things to journal in those rich passages. There is a reason they are so popular!
10. Don’t forget prayer. I mentioned it above, but prayer is going to be vital to your Bible journaling. Pray before, during, and after you take notes. It is your way to commune with God as you read His word.
Bible Journaling 101 – I hope these tips were helpful. Download a copy of them here. – Bible Journaling 101 – I hope you enjoy the link up today!