Adapting the Study for the Context

My husband and I were recently leading our life group one Sunday morning. It was the beginning of spring break and we were stepping in to substitute lead.

Our group is made up of married and single parents of kids from ages 0 - 25. We are a multiethnic and at times multilingual group. Individual experience with Bible knowledge is varied as well. So, finding something that would work well in our diverse setting seemed a bit challenging. Then I remembered the free standalone studies that were available from the Discover Your Bible Program. We chose Discover Psalm 103: A Song of the Soul.

Our setting was another concern we had. We usually have 45 minutes total for announcements, prayer, and Bible study. Also, our group hadn’t worked ahead to have answers to questions ready to share. So, we were creative. We decided to break the time into 3 sections: introduction, discussion questions, and application. As we prepared, the plan unfolded.

Together as a large group, we read the entire Psalm and the introductory content. Since there were 5 discussion questions, we divided into 5 groups, each group focusing on one question and its subquestions. Then the groups shared what they discovered for their part of the psalm. Other groups took notes or asked questions of the “presenting” group. Finally, we finished with the application questions in our large group setting.

We observed our life group members diving into Scripture together. Some were working with people they’d met only once, but found the scripture and questions bridged any discomfort in the “newness” of their acquaintance. One man, Claudio, commented that it was deeply refreshing to remember who God is, instead of thinking of a list of things that he felt he should be doing as a Christian. The direction of the questions to reflect on God’s character and what he had done, changed Claudio’s view on praise. “Because of what he’s done for me, I can praise him and I WANT to praise him!” We left the group that morning delighting in how our group had discovered God’s word together!

Amy Friedman