Pressure Points Session 2: Intro Option for Boomers

Introduce the session by showing this clip from It’s a Wonderful Life. After laughing about how “twenty thousand dollars a year” would probably not be enough to make anyone drop his cigar anymore, talk together about why this was such a temptation for George Bailey. What stage was he at in his life? What pressures was he feeling at home and at work? How do we see those same factors in our lives?

We want to hear from you! What are the biggest temptations boomers face? How will you deal with this topic in your class or small group?


  1. #1 – I wanted to call something to your attention that was likely an oversight. The Adult Bible Studies for Life Personal Study Guide does not include the verses on the 3 separate sections. The complete verses are disclosed on the beginning pages, but they are not repeated on each of the points. When leading a class, the learners who are following in the book do not see the actual verse. They are having to flip back and forth to follow from the page the verses are on to the actual page that we may be using to discuss questions or where they have made prior notes. The leader guide does have them listed separately. I noticed that the senior adult PSG has them separate, too. Hopefully, this is an oversight that will be included in the next issue.
    #2 – On a positive note… group appreciated the larger font and the white background and the less busy pages that made it easier to read and follow.
    #3 – Questions: When can we expect to see each week’s complete list of Leader Extra Helps
    on the blog? I would appreciate having these available the first of each week. Am I correct in thinking that we will no longer receive any helps/devotionals by email? I am receiving some links on Facebook, but I’m afraid that I could miss them. I’m also getting what looks like general links that are not associated to our weekly lesson. Is there a way to request only links that are pertinent to the lesson?
    I’m trying to be patient with the changes. I’m sure that it will end up being even better than before when everything is completed and I understand how it impacts my teaching. Thank you!

    • James Jackson says:

      Hey Belinda! Thanks so much for your questions and comments. Here are some answers. It was a group effort– some come from our team leader, some from me. I hope they are helpful.

      1. It actually wasn’t an oversight to have all of the Scripture on one page. It was a deliberate choice to print the whole Scripture passage in one place. This allows the reader to see the passage as a whole, and it allows each section that follows to be capture all on one page or one spread. We are also trying to reinforce that this is a “one point” study.

      2. So glad you like the cleaner, brighter look. I know you were a Life Truths user, so you can appreciate the difference. We always wanted to have white backgrounds in Truths, but since it was printed on lower-quality paper, white always looked dingy. But with the heavier paper (that also doesn’t bleed through when you highlight!) the white backgrounds really brighten it up. Our graphic artists will appreciate that you noticed.

      3. As for the Leader Extra helps, I’m still trying to figure out the best solution for this. Because Bible Studies For Life is offered in two separate formats—small group and traditional ongoing format—we don’t really think about them in terms of the “helps for the week.” For example, Pressure Points as a small group study began selling in bookstores back in June. So we had to have all the Leader Extras posted at that point, with the exception of the current events connections. That’s both good news and bad news for you. The good news is, they are already there. You just have to search for them on the blog by topic. The bad news is, they don’t automatically appear in Facebook as new posts because they were posted weeks ago. Does that make sense? As for a weekly email (similar to the LifeTruths Insights), we are still developing a plan for those that would be beneficial for both small group and ongoing curriculum users.

  2. Kenneth Johns says:

    I wonder if it would be possible for you to continue showing the time period each lesson is designed to be used in….. as of this time ,the new leader and student quarterlies have no designation on the top or bottom of the pages to show when the study is supposed to occur. I realize that you have the suggested use date in the beginning of the book , but it doesn’t appear anywhere else… this makes it more difficult to find the right lesson for the time allotted and I heartily concur with the above post about the scripture appearing for each of the points instead of just the beginning. I really like the way it appears in the Advanced Bible Commentary…. would it be possible for the leader guide and student guide to follow this format? I appreciate the work ya’ll put into the preparation of these lessons for us and GOD bless you mightily for it.

    Yours in CHRIST…….Ken

    • James Jackson says:

      Thanks, Ken. We appreciate the feedback, and also the encouragement. We take every suggestion and critique seriously. I do see an advantage, however, in labeling each lesson by session number rather than by date. Over time, if you get “off” a Sunday because of a church-wide emphasis, or a great discussion on one session that you felt needed to carry over to the next week, or any number of other reasons, you can simply tell your group that you are continuing in “Session 2,” and it will be less awkward than saying “We are going to go back and cover the September 1 lesson today.” It does take some getting used to (my own Sunday School class is using material that is organized by session number instead of date), but once the leader trained himself to begin with “We are in Session ____ on page ___”, our group didn’t have any more problems with it. I hope this helps. Blessings!

      • still does not help student with date to study by, ahead of class.

        • James Jackson says:

          Hi Carey–
          The reason we removed dates from the printed material is that we realized the dates are irrelevant for many users of the material. Almost every group I’ve been involved with for any length of time has eventually gotten off track, either because of a discussion that carried over into the next session, or a “fifth Sunday fellowship” that took the place of a regular lesson, or a prayer time that took the entire session, or a small group that only met every other week, or simply because a leader didn’t feel like a lesson would connect with his group on a certain day. The Sunday school class I attend currently just did the 9th session of last quarter’s material. The teacher has simply learned to tell his class on the front end, “We are in Session 7, page 120” rather than, “Open your books to November 10th.” It took a little getting used to, but it didn’t take long.

          I understand how this can make it difficult for people to study their lesson ahead of time, but no more so than when a group gets off track for any of the reasons listed above, whether a lesson has a date attached to it or not. One suggestion would be for the leader to email the group members during the week (something a lot of groups do anyway to pass on prayer requests, announcements, etc). That would be an ideal time for the leader to say, “As you are preparing for next week’s session, remember that we will be discussing Session ___.”

          I hope this helps. Thanks for your comments.

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