Tonight the 12th grade guys small group and the 11th and 12th grade girls small group are meeting together at my house. I'm trying something a little bit different with them. Instead of using a curriculum or a video or something to teach, I have chosen a passage of scripture (John Chapter 9, about the man born blind) and will ask them the following series of questions to answer in groups of 2 or 3.
The questions, to be asked and discussed one at a time are as follows:
1. What do you like best about this passage?
2. What do you like least about this passage?
3. What do you not understand about this passage?
4. What do you learn about God from this passage?
5. Based on what you read and learned from this passage, what do you personally need to do?
6. What phrase or verse from this passage do you want to take with you?
The disclaimer is: These questions didn't come from me.
A few weeks ago, on a retreat with the staff, advisors, and lay-leadership of our church, a consultant named Carol Davis did this exercise as a devotional with us. She actually used the Luke 10:1-7 passage where Jesus sends out the 72.
My first reaction was, "Who gives a crap what I like, or dislike about a passage from scripture?! What does that have to do with anything?" But I was really surprised at how well the whole exercise worked with our leadership group.
Afterward, she asked how often we had been in Bible Studies that had focused so much on scripture. Ouch. Too often we have been guilty of relying on books, videos, and materials that use scripture only marginally, and calling it "Bible Study". Kind of like the "Bible Study" I did with the college students using Blue Like Jazz, and the study guide from it. Kind of silly.
Anyway - then she asked an even better question - How hard would it be for the average person to lead a B.S. using this method? Not very. So that will be the question for my students tonight. Couldn't you lead a B.S. if it was this simple? Maybe at your school? Maybe for a group of Middle Schoolers, or younger High Schoolers? Maybe for your family?
I understand that a study that follows these questions every week (or every day) might seem tedious after a while - but really the point is not to answer the questions, but to answer the questions in a group, and hear others answer them about different passages of scripture.
Anybody got any thoughts about this kind of thing?