DURHAM, NC – For many people, the Bible can be an overwhelming and intimidating book. For pastors who stand and teach from the Bible every Sunday, the task can be daunting. How can one person work through all that material, and how can people finally get to a place where they feel comfortable reading the Bible on their own without getting lost?
Pastor Roy Sturgess, teaching pastor at SouthPoint Church – Durham’s largest multi-site congregation — believes he has the answer, and he’s been living and modeling that answer for the past 24 years.
“I discovered long ago that when you break it all down, there are really only 8 subjects in the whole bible, and no matter where you go, you’re sure to find one of them. That’s why I re-set my sermon series every 4 weeks, breaking the subjects up into two blocks, and covering them again and again and again and again, week after week, month after month, and year after year. No matter what text we’re looking at, if we work hard at it, we discover that we can always make it fit it in with one of these 8 things. It’s pretty amazing, actually!”
When asked to give a summary of the 8 primary subjects in the Bible, Sturgess closed his eyes, put up both hands with fists closed, and rolled through them one by one putting up one finger at a time like a confident 1st-grader saying his ABCs:
- Spiritual Disciplines (Prayer, Bible Reading, etc.)
- Relationships/Marriage and Family
- Reaching your personal destiny (or your full potential)
- Overcoming negative emotions/habits, and
- Church Building Campaigns.
“That’s it. That’s the whole Bible. See, it’s not that hard.”
When reflecting on how long it takes the average Christian to master the whole Bible using his system for understanding it, Sturgess insisted — “Well, if you’ve been in our church for more than 16 weeks, you’ve pretty much figured out this is what the Bible is really all about because we make sure you’ve gone through the whole list of eight things things twice in that short amount of time. I also try to at least mention as many of these eight things in every sermon if I can fit them in. It’s not too hard once you get good at it. If you miss a Sunday here or there, you know what you missed will be coming right back around again in just a few Sundays.”