Hello senior adult users of Bible Studies for Life! I’m glad you’re with us. With the launch in September of the redesign of Bible Studies for Life, I’ve been thinking about what senior adults might be thinking about all of this. Some of us have taken the change in stride, but for some of us… well it’s been a little more challenging. But thanks for sticking with us.
Lots of seniors have written us with their comments. Hopefully, I can offer a few suggestions for making the transition from what we had to what we have.
1. Dates for our sessions.
I’m sure many of you remember when the new Sunday School year began with the first Sunday in October. Then it changed to the first Sunday in September to more closely match the beginning of the school year. Now, depending on where we live, the school year might start in early August.
Anyway, what we are discovering is that some churches are sticking with the “traditional” September start date for the new year, but others are starting earlier, and some are starting later, for example, after Labor Day. AND some want to start, well, when they want to start.
With all of that said, for those of us who grew up with assigning a date to a lesson, this new design seems a little awkward. LifeWay is trying to meet the needs of as many churches as possible. Keeping suggested dates in the table of contents is our attempt to compromise with those churches who are more traditional in their approach and the churches who want more flexibility in when to begin their studies.
One suggestion to help keep everyone on track is to announce at the end of each session the session the group will be studying next. Teachers, you might also consider making a phone call or sending an e-mail during the week prior to your study encouraging your group to prepare for the next session. You might also combine this with a list of prayer requests from the previous Sunday.
2. Magazine articles access.
As you have noticed, at the end of each session, we promote a LifeWay magazine article that is related to the content of the session. We have heard from some of you that you want to read these articles, but you don’t have personal access to the Internet. Here’s a suggestion: Talk with your teacher, department director, or church staff member, and request their help in downloading and printing the articles each week. Or perhaps this is a ministry opportunity for someone in your group who has Internet access to print articles for those in your group who can’t access them otherwise.
Related to the magazine articles, beginning with the Summer 2014 issue in Bible Studies for Life: Senior Adults, you will notice a QR code on the page. For those unfamiliar with this, it’s that white box with the squiggly lines in it. You’ll see examples of these appearing on all kinds of products. You might look for them next time you go to the grocery. Anyway, those of you with smartphones will be able to simply scan the QR code to access the article.
God bless each of you as you continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).
Jeffrey Holder, Content Editor, Bible Studies for Life: Senior Adults