The Swedish Method

Everyday Ministry

Want to read the Bible with someone? Go Swedish, says Peter Blowes.

Editor’s note: See this article on GoThereFor—The Swedish Method—for links to the Spanish and Italian translations. You may also like to read some new thoughts from Peter on the Swedish Method, or see how to use it with WhatsApp.

For 19 years, I worked in Argentina in a context where many university students were unaccustomed to reading. Bible studies in that country (with its strong Catholic influence and practices expressed in the current evangelical style) were often an exercise in glancing at a text and then using ‘authorities’ to prove a point. For example, a youth group would typically read a passage of Scripture, close their Bibles to discuss it, and then one student would then say, “My pastor says ‘X’”. Then another would reply, “But my pastor says ‘Y’”. The argument would then escalate as one and then the other would pull in higher authorities from around the evangelical world to justify their points of view. From rallies, television or radio programmes, they would cite evangelical ‘celebrities’ such as Yiye Avila, Carlos Annacondia, Luis Palau, and then, to clinch the argument, Billy Graham. What they were doing was a Protestant version of Catholicism: they appealed to a higher human authority to win an argument. (more…)

Ten tips for frustrated servants


One of the most common experiences in the life of Christian service is not love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, or any other fruit of the Spirit; it’s frustration. Sometimes this arises from ungodliness in the servant; sometimes it is a genuine response to a situation that makes you feel like crying out, “God, what are you doing here?”