One of the greatest experiences I’ve had in recent years is to have been a part of the group that re-imagined the Bible Studies For Life curriculum for adults. The idea of having just one point in each lesson (an important new feature in this line of Bible study materials) actually grew out of an experience that many of us who lead groups have had.
I wonder if this might be you, too?
My wife and I taught a Bible study as substitute teachers for a young adult group at our church. Because the discussion that took place that morning was so good, I was only able to guide the young adults through the first of the three lesson points. As my wife and I walked to the car after church, I told her that I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time preparing to teach! I “threw away” 2/3 of the material I planned to use with the group!
Then it dawned on me: I wondered how many group leaders (like myself at that point) believe success is “getting through the lesson points.”
In order to do that, we race through a lesson to make sure we get to the end of it, even though we have to skim over key points, often cutting off discussion so we can complete the lesson. Lessons may feel shallow to group members, but hey, at least we’re giving them all three points. Kind of.
So as we redesigned Bible Studies For Life, we asked group leaders about their experience in leading Bible study. Most told us that they only had 35 minutes to teach, they spent many hours preparing to lead the group Bible study, and most had to race through the lesson points. That’s why we decided to change Bible Studies For Life’s format and major on just one key point during each session.
How One Point Helps You and Your Group Members
The One Point feature in Bible Studies For Life is designed to do several things for you and your group members. As we redesigned this popular family of Bible study products, we thought about you, the group leader and group member, every step of the way:
1. One Point is easy to remember. What were the three points in your pastor’s sermon from last Sunday? Me, too…I can’t remember! By having just one key point that is the overarching truth that you’ll drive home each session, you and your learners will be able to remember the key point. If you are in a Bible study that has the typical three point format, it can leave you wondering which one is the most important. Not so in the new Bible Studies For Life.
2. One Point is easier to prepare for. If I am leading a Bible study group and I have one key point to make, all of my extra visual aids and objects I’ll use to engage my group members in the study will relate to the same theme. Everything reinforces everything else. My study and preparation time can be cut significantly without me giving up any quality in the group session. In fact, the quality will actually get better since I’m driving home just one point!
3. One Point strengthens families. Because Bible Studies For Life promises to help strengthen families, adults, students, and kids study similar biblical concepts each session, and that makes it easy for mom and dad to have a spiritual conversation with their children. In fact, our One Conversation take-home sheets will guide parents in having a simple spiritual conversation around the one big point from their kids’ Bible study session. That’s helping families live out Deuteronomy 6:6-9.
Ken Braddy is the manager of LifeWay’s Adult Ministry Ongoing Curriculum and leads a Bible study group at his church.