It caught me by surprise when the precept 40 minutes Bible Studies ended last Tuesday, 30 May 2017. The class participants gave me a Thank You card and a gift box. There were many words of encouragement and appreciation for the six weeks spent with them. The skill that I imparted on how to study Bible Epistles paid off, I hope. The material: “How Do You Walk The Walk You Talk?” is based on the Epistle of Ephesians. I thank the LORD that He answered my prayer; as I prayed for the attendees daily that they may grow to know the Word of God and increase in knowledge, hunger spiritually and put into practice what they learn from the class lessons and discussions.
This is my first class as facilitator for a Bible Study group in River Life Church, so there is no knowledge of whether I am doing the right thing. There was no proper training for leading a Bible Study discussion. I signed up for the Bible Study leading course from Singapore Precept Ministry but they have not enough students to conduct a class. Before I became a facilitator for this class, I was attached to a mentor for the previous class in February-March. But I felt that the way he conducted the class was to show how much knowledge and experience he had, rather than helping the students to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God. I wouldn’t want to follow his style in leading a Bible Study group. Also, the way he mentored me seemed a bit domineering, acting as if he is an “expert”. It is good to teach me humility and submissive to his style and ways during that period. I can imagine how much the class “benefited” from him. And so, I was contemplating to lead the class differently.
Then, a week before the class started, I happened to stumble into the mentor in the church. He remarked that the Studies on “How Do You Walk The Walk You Talk?” as very “straight forward”. He implied that the Bible Study is simple and has no in-depth material. After that, I was more determined to do some teaching on his Bible Study, giving the class some added knowledge on how to study the Epistle, rather than just do some marking and discussions.
During my first week, I taught them how to read the epistle just like the original readers of the letter, detecting the tone, feelings of the writer; looking for contrast and similarities; identifying key words and key verses; using questions by making use of the 5W and 1H. And the end of the observations, students should be able to write of lists of observations in tabulated forms. I spent the first 3 lessons teaching and demonstrating how this was done. I even gave them my work done, teaching by examples and step by step demonstration. During the course, I received some feedback that they like the method. I was definitely new to most of them. During the second class, my ministry leader came to sit in my class and observe how I led the class. I was as bit nervous to be under scrutinised. At the end of the class, she remarked that I should not teach but facilitate. So, I knew that I may have done something wrong. Should I carry on with my method or just obey and follow what others facilitators are doing? In the end, I decided to follow her instruction and do discussion during the class with some teaching through email to the class for the fourth and fifth lessons. In the final lesson, I did a mixture of both teaching and discussion, helping them to make a clear and simple listing from the Bible passage. I ended the class with a Summary Chart to capture the 6 lessons. Again, the ministry leader came to my class. I was wondering why she did not even attend the other class facilitated by another new leader, just like me. Very likely, she is checking on me. Why just me? And not both of us? She may have her reason that is not for me to questions. At the end of the class, the Thank You card is the best reward that shows that I am doing the right thing.
Thank you, Lord!