Read an Excerpt
This small-group study is for people who are interested in learning for themselves more about what the Bible says on various subjects, but who have only limited time to meet together. It’s ideal, for example, for a lunch group at work, an early morning men’s group, a young mothers’ group meeting in a home, a Sunday-school class, or even family devotions. (It’s also ideal for small groups that typically have longer meeting times—such as evening groups or Saturdaymorning groups—but want to devote only a portion of their time together to actual study, while reserving the rest for prayer, fellowship, or other activities.)
This book is designed so that all the group’s participants will complete each lesson’s study activities at the same time. Discussing your insights drawn from what God says about the subject reveals exciting, life-impacting truths.
Although it’s a group study, you’ll need a facilitator to lead the study and keep the discussion moving. (This person’s function is not that of a lecturer or teacher. However, when this book is used in a Sundayschool class or similar setting, the teacher should feel free to lead more directly and to bring in other insights in addition to those provided in each week’s lesson.)
If you are your group’s facilitator, the leader, here are some helpful points for making your job easier:
• Go through the lesson and mark the text before you lead the group. This will give you increased familiarity with the material and will enable you to facilitate the group with greater ease. It may be easier for you to lead the group through the instructions for marking if you, as a leader, choose a specific color for each symbol you mark.
• As you lead the group, start at the beginning of the text and simply read it aloud in the order it appears in the lesson, including the “insight boxes,” which appear throughout. Work through the lesson together, observing and discussing what you learn. As you read the Scripture verses, have the group say aloud the word they are marking in the text.
• The discussion questions are there simply to help you cover the material. As the class moves into the discussion, many times you will find that they will cover the questions on their own. Remember, the discussion questions are there to guide the group through the topic, not to squelch discussion.
• Remember how important it is for people to verbalize their answers and discoveries. This greatly strengthens their personal understanding of each week’s lesson. Try to ensure that everyone has plenty of opportunity to contribute to each week’s discussions.
• Keep the discussion moving. This may mean spending more time on some parts of the study than on others. If necessary, you should feel free to spread out a lesson overmore than one session. However, remember that you don’t want to slow the pace too much. It’smuch better to leave everyone “wantingmore” than to have people dropping out because of declining interest.
• If the validity or accuracy of some of the answers seems questionable, you can gently and cheerfully remind the group to stay focused on the truth of the Scriptures. Your object is to learn what the Bible says, not to engage in human philosophy. Simply stick with the Scriptures and give God the opportunity to speak. HisWord is truth (John 17:17)!