I’ve been leading Bible Study in various forms for most of my adult life. I am convinced that the study of God’s Words shapes us, it informs our decisions, it enables us to see Jesus, and to become like Him. Hopefully it propels to serve Him, to produce fruit, and to bring others into relationship with Him.
I have always been a proponent of inductive Bible Study, which invites the learner to simply learn from the text, rather than commentaries. Coffee Break material goes one step further, encouraging leaders to pose questions that will help group members to dig into the passage.
As we study God’s Word, we’re actually embracing Jesus. He is the “word who became flesh, and made is dwelling among us.” (John 1:14) He’s the unseen member as we gather.
This year, the groups that I lead have been trying something new. We’re engaging the book of Mark, but with a new twist. We’re using a Lectio Divina style of reading and listening.
Each week, we read through a chapter of the book of Mark; the chapter is broken down into 5 daily readings. Participants are encouraged to read through the passage on their own, through the week…. aloud… 3 times… allowing for quiet reflection in between.
We’re trying to listen as if we’re hearing it for the first time. We take notes in a journal of what we’ve noticed, what strikes us for the first time, what sounds like another passage, what questions are raised, etc.
When we come together, we read the passage aloud, and then huddle in small clusters of 3; we share our thoughts, our notes, our questions. Finally we share together in the large group of about 12-15 women. The conversation is full and free flowing.
Our sharing has been surprising. Our learning has been fresh and new. Our understanding has been deepened. Our questions cause us to go deeper. God is revealing Himself as we engage His Word.
I hope to use this blog to continue to dialogue about our learning. (See the menu item, along the top, for the Gospel of Mark.) Please join us in the reading of Mark. We’re just reading Chapter 2 this week, which we’ll discuss midweek.
We’ve also published our own journal, complete with scripture texts, and pictures of Women’s Ministry in our church. Please send me an email if you’d like more info. firstname.lastname@example.org