In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1).
One of the key ingredients to the design of Explore the Bible: Young Adults is the four-color artwork you’ll find throughout the Personal Study Guide. Especially among Millennials and the later population of Generation X, you’ll find dreamers, visual learners, and creative-types who desire more than just words on a page to understand and process information. As technology continues to dominate our culture, art and visual aids have proven to be of significant importance to learning. This especially applies to discipleship and group Bible study.
If you’ve ever wondered if there was a strategy behind the images chosen and placed within Bible study resources, the answer is yes. Editors and graphic designers work closely together to develop art strategies that creatively connect the words on the page with creative visual illustrations. The ultimate goal of the Bible study artwork is bring the words to life for readers in both literal and figurative ways.
For group leaders, one of the greatest tools to spark group discussion can be found in the artwork and images used within each session. Here are three ways to use the artwork within your Bible study sessions to spark group discussion and deeper learning.
1. Break The Ice
Since pictures and images can bring words to life, use the session title artwork to get your group focused on the group time. Show the image while reading the session title and main point. Ask your group members how they see the artwork connecting to the session title. (You’ll likely be surprised at how many answers and visual interpretations you receive.) Use their comments to then drive the discussion toward the session introduction and Scripture passage.
2. Develop The Main Idea
Each session is packed with information that ultimately draws group members to a larger point or idea. The artwork throughout is no exception. Occasionally draw attention to the photos as you dig deeper into each session. Though each image is usually different than the next, most all the images in each session correlate back to the title page artwork. If you want to take your visual learning experience a step further, invest in the Explore the Bible Leader Pack, which contains posters, maps, and visual timelines to post in your Bible study gathering space. To learn more about the Explore the Bible Leader Pack, click HERE.
3. Initiate Obedience
After you have journeyed through your weekly Bible study session, you’ll want to point your group members toward obeying the biblical text. Using the artwork throughout each session is another way to help your visuals learners understand what obedience looks like in their own lives. Refer back to the title page artwork as you discuss the Obey the Text questions at the end of each session. As you discuss the pictures throughout the session, you might ask your group members how these images help provoke or inspire obedience in their own life’s context.
Above all, take advantage of the artwork and visuals available to you as a group leader. As you do, your visual learners and creative thinkers won’t be left out or lost within each Bible study session.
Adam York is the content editor for Explore the Bible: Young Adults. He’s passionate about ministry to Millennials and Gen X’ers and hopes to see churches thrive in reaching and engaging them. Keep up with Adam via Twitter.