Let’s be honest. People who attend Bible studies have often been to more than one. Some have been to dozens. With all the books, studies, sermons, podcasts, and daily devotionals, it can be hard for any single Bible lesson to stick in people’s minds and hearts.
Yet there’s one easy and amazing way to lead a Bible study that no one will ever forget.
The secret is to invite participants to experience the Bible for themselves. Rather than just study or discuss the Scripture, look for hands-on activities that allow the Bible to be tasted, touched and savored.
Over the past few years we’ve been wonderstruck at how small groups and Bible studies have gotten wildly creative when it comes to learning about the Scripture.
One great example of this is a Bible study from Covenant UMC in Greer, South Carolina led by Evelyn Robertson who went through the 6-sessions of Scouting the Divine. Rather than just read the book, do the homework, or watch the videos, they took the study one step further by visiting a shepherd, beekeeper, and farmer to correspond with each each lesson.
Here is a Q and A with the facilitators of this study:
WHAT SPARKED THE IDEA TO BRING YOUR BIBLE STUDY TO LIFE BY GOING ON THESE HANDS-ON ADVENTURES?
My co-facilitator, Kisa Braselton and I are both very visual hands-on learners. We both feel that the use of visual aids and hands on activities in each of our studies not only enhances our groups learning experiences, it makes Scripture come alive in ways that make studying more enjoyable as well as more memorable for our group. We have used this method of teaching for the seven or more years we have been facilitating groups together.
When we selected Scouting the Divine, we were immediately excited about the possibilities we could already envision for this study.
HOW DID YOU ARRANGE THESE FIELD TRIPS?
I immediately went on the internet to see if we could find a sheep farmer and a vineyard in our area. We already had friends and family that had a working farm as well as a friend who is a beekeeper.
We were so fortunate (due to divine intervention I am sure) to find in our area two sheep farms, one with a lady shepherd who truly blessed us with her devotion to her sheep and the way she related her experiences with her sheep to her relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd of our study.
We also visited with a gentleman shepherd complete with a real Shepherd’s Staff to show us. We also found a vintner with a family-owned vineyard, within a one hour’s drive from our church, where the family including grandchildren work to grow the grapes he uses to produce his own brand of wine.
We added the weeks needed to go on our field trips. We would go on our field trip and learn all we could about the various subjects and the following week we would have our lesson session pertaining to the field trip we had taken the week before.
We enjoyed this study so much and I do think that others who are taking it would benefit from trying this same idea as they begin Scouting the Divine.
What additional insights have you gleaned from these field trips?
We learned from the sheep why an intimate relationship with God is so important, being able to recognize His voice is mirrored how interpersonal the shepherd is with their flock.
The beekeeper and his bees reminded us of the church—each bee has a specific job in the hive and does it—all work for the good of the hive.
Our time at the farm mirrored how God works in the ways we need in the different seasons of our lives, bringing joy and bountiful harvest in our lives, leading and guiding us always, comforting and protecting us in those hard seasons of grief and pain, and always with us whatever season we may be in working all things for our good.
The vineyard highlighted that God is working in our lives with a long-term perspective in mind—pruning us and preparing us in ways to bring us to a greater harvest as we mature in Him.
What has been the best part of the Scouting the Divine Bible Study and why?
Gives us a simple, yet profound, picture of how God works in all his creation especially our lives—This experience helps us relate Biblical principles to our own lives in very clear and meaningful ways. Our fellowship with each other as we scouted the Divine together was so special.
We will never tire of scouting the Divine!