Bible Study Idea

Emit Smith was inducted into the football Hall of Fame in 2010. In his induction speech, he talked about how he wrote down his goals at an early age. He wanted to be a great football player, play for the Dallas Cowboys, and rush for more yards than anyone in history. He accomplished every one of these goals. Goal setting or having a game plan is a vital ingredient for success. It bridges the gap between mediocrity and greatness; helping a team or individual to plan out what to do and staying on track to getting it done.

The greatest expenditure of energy in a rocket launch is the first 500 yards. Some mornings, I feel the same is true with me. It’s the first few moves and that first step out of bed that is the hardest. If I can just make it to the cup of coffee, then things get easier. There’s a little initiative in each cup. What is it that Folgers says on their commercial – the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup. To keep my momentum going and before I begin my busy schedule, I’ve tried to make it a habit to meet with God in a Bible reading and prayer time. I try to listen for plans and directions. My hope each morning is that I receive the help needed to build a great day; letting God shine His light and help me develop a positive picture that will be presented in reality as I go through the day. I’ve designed an Excel document that helps with a daily game plan and documents thoughts or ideas for improvement.

Some years back, I went through some courses at my church about being a member and some possible roles I might consider as a member. A short time after that, our church started using multi-media in the church service. It seemed like a good idea to me so I asked if I could play a role. I’ve been on the multi-media team running the computer every other month for one of the worship services ever since. The thing I like about multi-media is that it can be a tool to help in the learning process.  A person not only hears the sermon but they can see the main points of the message on the screen.

I’ve recently began work on a multi-media Bible study guide to not only help myself but others in creating a daily reading and prayer time. It’s a guide that divides the Bible up in such a way that a person can read a passage each day. Along with the passage are questions to answer, suggested videos to watch, quotes, or pictures to look at. Also, suggestions on a response to the values or principles brought out in the passage are made. These multi-media tools are utilized to get the mind thinking so one may be inspired to jot down notes. These notes of ideas, thoughts, or plans might be of use as a game plan for life or they may help others as they set out in their journey through life.

A while back, I took an on-line course leading into becoming certified in Information Technology. Within this course, there was material dealing with how to continually improve an IT department. It is called the 7-Step improvement process and it consist of identifying the vision and goals, defining what should be measured, defining what can be measured, gathering data, presenting the data, and implementing corrective action.

The Bible study guide I’m in the process of developing is built on this philosophy of continual improvement. Instead of improving a department, the goal is to transform and improve individuals. It provides a step-by-step process of setting a goal for Bible reading, planning how much should be read each day, gathering data like quotes, personal thoughts from the reading, and ideas for personal transformation. 

In order for the Bible study program to work, it’s important to understand which part of the day is your best. Determine if you are a morning person or an evening person by experimenting to see what works best for you. Expect to pay the price. You may have to get up a little earlier or stay up a little later. To make it a plan that is uniquely yours, look up quotes and find videos that fit with your interest so they will inspire your thinking. Bible study is not just reading a daily passage. The ultimate goal is to stimulate thought and come up with ideas that will help make the needed changes you desire. It may take years for someone to transform and fully reach their God given potential.

The Bible study program is very similar to the Deming Cycle or also known as PDCA (plan-do-check-act) strategy which was made popular by Dr. W. Edwards Deming who is considered by many to be the father of modern quality control. After World War II, he taught top managers in Japan how to improve processes and to build quality products. The Deming Cycle is an interactive four-step problem-solving process typically used in business process improvement.

Below is an example of the Bible study program. As you will see, there is a Bible passage planned out, some questions to do, a video, a point made in a book or sermon to provide inspiration and stimulate thought, prayer ideas to help check the meaning of the passage and possible plans of action. Hopefully lessons can be learned from the passage or the passage will stimulate memories of lessons learned from experiences of the past. This will give some ideas on what to do next and what action to take.

Sunday 01-09-11

Reading for Today

Set some time aside; maybe 10-20 minutes. Read Colossians 3:5-11 using your Bible or the passage lookup tool: Passage Lookup. After reading the passage for today, continue with the items below.   

Use the question(s) below to fuel your thinking.

What sins does Paul enumerate? Compare the old and new natures. What is happening to your new nature in Christ?

Do research. Find a quote, a point from a past sermon, a video, a book, or picture. Below is a quote from a recent book I read:

In the game of life, there are only two teams – a winning team and a losing team. Which team are you on? If you’re like me, you want to make sure you’re on the winning team that will end up in Heaven. – Joe Gibbs, from the book “Game Plan for Life” 

Think about what you might pray for today. It might be for your day ahead; for your family, church, and job. What’s a plan of action you can take after reading and studying this passage? Here’s an example:

Paul gives us a list of sins in this passage and writes about the new nature when one accepts Christ; guaranteeing a spot on the winning team. Be thankful that God has reserved a spot for you on His winning team. Pray for continued growth so you may develop a strong faith which is able to win the battles this broken world continues send our way.

If anyone is interested in joining me on this journey through the Bible or perhaps interested in developing your own personalized method of Bible study for yourself or those you mentor, respond with an email and we can work together.

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About Mark Shields

Mark works in the Information Systems Department for an Insurance Company. He volunteers as a member of the media ministry team at his church and runs the 10:50 worship service computer. A few years ago, he started an on-line Bible study guide called “This Day with God Devotional”. He uses this as a tool in his journey through the Bible. We live in a very busy world with busy schedules so this tool has helped him continue with daily Bible reading and study. You’re invited to join him on this journey or check in every so often to read his thoughts.
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