Several of you have asked about using current events to make your Bible Study more inviting and applicable. Here are two great ideas for your consideration!
The first is a free on-line resource can be found at http://www.faithelement.com/ a very contemporary and inviting piece. You can tailor this for discussion, video interaction, or creative participation. You make the choice!
The second involves the newspaper, a wonderful source for discussion. My friend, Don Cannata, firstname.lastname@example.org, offers this idea.
The current event Bible lesson is designed to involve all of the class members. Each person is given a newspaper from the week prior, and a copy of the lesson plan and Teacher “Think” Sheet (see samples below.) The group is divided into small groups of about four persons each.
After a brief introduction to explain the idea of making Bible study relevant to today’s world, the participants are given 10 -12 minutes to skim their paper, discuss their findings, and arrive at one lesson plan for each of the four groups. (Have Concordances available for use.) Of course, there is not enough time for each of the groups to actually “teach” the lesson they choose; each group gives a brief overview of their “lesson.” (2-3 minutes) Then there is a time for open discussion (10-12 minutes). The lead teacher then gives a one minute summary or challenge.
One person said to our group that he would read his newspaper from a different slant now, by looking for the Bible issues in many of the news reports. This is one of the results that I had hoped would happen matching the relevance that existed between daily news reports, and Bible truths.
LESSON PLAN SHEET
Purpose: This is an exercise to create a timely Bible study session using a current event, or current issue that will lead to an examination and comparison of Bible truths and principles having the same core issues.
Step 1 – Choose from the newspaper(s) provided several reports or articles that would be of general interest to the group, and that have issues that can be matched with Bible stories, narratives, verses you recall or find listed in a Bible concordance.
Step 2 – Select the article with the most promise to introduce your Bible lesson.
Step 3 – Determine the major issue(s) that you would like to make as the focal point.
Step 4 – List Bible stories, narratives or verses that you feel address the main issues, and then make a comparison.
Step 5 — List any possible applications you would like to make to conclude your lesson. These could be anything you would want participants to think, feel or do as a result of this study. Encourage further discussion from the group members.
SAMPLE “THINK” LIST FOR BIBLE TEACHERS Explore the following issues to see if there is a match between a current issue (or event) you may have chosen, and a similar issue in the context of the Bible. Use helps from the Concordance or search on-line to discover the appropriate Bible verses.
SPIRITUAL ISSUES: Salvation; Discipleship; Church ministry; Discovering God’s Will
PERSONAL ISSUES: Need for love; Finding acceptance and approval; Being secure; Need to belong to family or group; Achieving self-esteem
PHYSICAL ISSUES: Finding healing; Dealing with illness and death; Wellness
SOCIAL ISSUES: Developing relational skills; Resolving conflict; Political choices; Crime and punishment
RELATIONAL ISSUES: Marriage and family; Extended family and neighbors; At work relationships
GLOBAL ISSUES: War and peace; Environmental issues; World hunger; National and local interests; Disaster Relief Efforts
ADD OTHER ISSUES: The above list is not exhaustive, but only designed to help the teacher “match” Bible texts to present day adult issues, there will be others you may want to add. It may be that the learners themselves may have additional topics to add to this list, if given the opportunity.