Monday, May 15, 2017

Explore the Bible Adults FAQs for Fall 2017 Enhancements

ETB Adults FAQs (May 2017)

Recent FAQs related to the Fall enhancements to Explore the Bible for Adults:

Questions about the Personal Study Guide

What is changing in the Personal Study Guide?
The Bible text will no longer be printed twice in each session. You will find the Bible text interspersed with commentary following that verse or passage. You will get more commentary than you did in the past.

What if we were using the Young Adult resources?
The Young Adult resources are being discontinued, with the Summer 17 quarter being the last issue. You have some options. (1) Consider the new Daily Discipleship Guide as an option. (2) The Personal Study Guide follows the traditional approach (study before group time) and the content in the Young Adult resources was based on what you find here. (3) If you want something specifically tailored to Young Adults, BSFL has an option you may want to consider.

Do we really need Personal Study Guides?
 We know that daily Bible engagement is the number one predictor of a person growing spiritually. If they are doing that, then there is a high probability that they are growing in other areas of their spiritual lives. Since that is true, let me ask you a question: What do you provide that encourages all of your church members to study the Bible for themselves on a regular basis? Providing Personal Study Guides to everyone is the best way we know to encourage personal Bible study and you can do it for less than 20 cents (2 dimes) a week per person.

Bottom line is do you view Bible study as a one-time a week activity that happens in a group with a teacher making a presentation about what they discovered in their study time, or do you view it as a daily necessity for everyone under your care? How you resource your Bible study groups reveals your answer and also communicates what you think about your church as a whole.

Questions about the Daily Discipleship Guide

Can we use both (PSG and DDG) in the same group?
It would be best for the group to use one or the other. The expectations are so different and the teacher would struggle to direct the group to specific pages and questions in each (plus not all questions are asked in the same way in both resources). Both may be used within the church since many churches have different groups with different needs.

Is there really a difference?
Beyond the obvious difference in how the content is organized (a continuous flowing commentary vs. daily breaks), there are some differences. While both editorial teams begin with the same core content, they edit to suit the design of the resource. If you look at the teaching plans, you will find the same core ideas, but each will be tailored to either a group that studied prior to the group time or a group being challenged to study after the group time. Some questions will some variance as well because of the when that question is asked (during the group time vs. in the daily section).

Can we use the daily exploration section first?
You can certainly do that, but there is a strong reason for not doing this. We wanted to make the group time more friendly to guests so we removed the expectation of preparation. Guests can jump right in and participate since they are on the same ground as everyone else. Also think about how adults learn. They have a wealth of experiences and need time to reflect on what they learn in light of those experiences. This reflection usually happens best on a personal level separate from the group. Using the daily sections afterwards affords adults the opportunity to dig deeper into the passage and reflect (process) on what that truth means to him or her.

What do you recommend for the leader who wants more help?

I can certainly understand this. I personally will be using QuickSource since it gives me some extra questions and the dig deeper feature. However, the answer depends upon that the leader needs. The Leader Pack includes posters, but more importantly is the CD-ROM which includes DOC files of the commentary found in the Leader Guide. For some, they simply want more commentary so the Adult Commentary would best suit their needs. Or course, Biblical Illustrator is always a great source for discovering more about biblical cultures, words, and place found in the Explore the Bible lessons.