“The H.E.A.R. Method promotes reading the Bible with a life-transforming purpose. No longer will your focus be on checking off boxes on your daily reading schedule; your purpose will instead be to read in order to understand and respond to God’s Word.” -Robby Gallaty from his book Growing Up
H.E.A.R. is an acronym that stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply, and Respond. These are the four steps you will use each time you sit down to study God’s Word. Below are the five steps of the H.E.A.R. Method as taught by Robby Gallaty in his book, Growing Up.
Before beginning, take a moment and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide and teach you as you read God’s Word. “We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” 1 Corinthians 2:13 CSB
As you are reading the passage, watch for the one or two verses that stand out or speak to you. Write an “H” on the left of your paper and then write out the verse or verses the Holy Spirit drew you to.
Below the “H”, write an “E”. Now you will write a few sentences that will explain what the text means. Remember, we are looking for the original authors message to the original recipient. Ask questions like: Why was this written? To whom was it originally written? How does this fit with the verses before and after? Why did the Holy Spirit include this passage in the book?
Below the “E”, write an “A”. We will now take the truth from the first century (or earlier if you are reading the Old Testament) and try to apply it to the twenty first century. Ask questions like: How can this help me? What does this mean today? What would the application of this verse look like in my life? What is God saying to me?
This is where you will write a measurable response to the truth God revealed. Maybe it will be a call to action, something you will change in the coming week. Maybe it will be a prayer asking God to help you work this truth into your life. Whichever, make sure it is measurable so you can hold yourself accountable in your growth as a disciple.
Watch a video of our ministers, Nathan and Ryan, discussing the H.E.A.R. method and walking you through a sample study of 1 John 1:1-4.
Here are some helpful links as you use the H.E.A.R. method
- https://www.blueletterbible.org – website that offers a wide variety of study tools
- https://replicate.org – Robby Gallaty’s website