The exegetical study method is taught in seminary is now something most congregational members can learn and use. The resources that used to be so expensive, like commentaries, now are on church library shelves or are easily accessible on the internet or in a Bible software program.
Teaching the three parts of good Bible study: Observation, Interpretation and Application is where it begins. Then, trusting the Holy Spirit in us from the beginning by using our own powers of observation and just the Bible without any “help”. Afterwards we need to add “helps” using, good resources of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, study Bibles, and an atlas to interpret scripture. Learning which resources come from different perspectives and how they compare to one’s own perspective deepens our faith as well. Finally our goal is applying scripture through theological reflection and spiritual disciplines so one’s life is transformed into Christ likeness.
These thoughts above are from David Fox, our partner based out of Roanoke, Virginia. He has served in various roles either as pastor, associate pastor or minister of education in Virginia churches.