Recently I was in the market for a new grass trimmer. As I looked at my options, everything was ultimately compared to my old grass trimmer. What else would I compare it to? It was what I had experience with.
As you look at the new adult Explore the Bible Leader Guide, you will most likely take the same approach if you currently use Explore the Bible, comparing the current Leader Guide to the new one.
When we were planning the Leader Guide, we tried to keep the content very similar. Some sections have different titles, but are still the same kind of content. Here is a comparison that highlights the connections.
- The first page of each session is still essentially a to-do list for the leader
- Why Study this Lesson? accomplished the same thing as First Thoughts (both give an introduction to the issue addressed by the Bible passage being studied)
- How Does this Lesson Fit in God’s Story? is what you will now find in Understand the Context (this section was a bulleted list, but is now in sentence format)
- Outline of Bible passage is included under the heading Explore the Text
- Teaching Suggestions for Meaningful Group Time is now known as Lead Group Bible Study
In the group plans, these sections have comparable functions:
- Get Started is comparable to Focus Attention
- Get into the Word is now Explore the Text
- Get to the Point is now Summarize and Challenge
When I settled on a new grass trimmer, I discovered some new features that my old trimmer didn’t have. The same is true for the new Leader Guide. Some of these new features are:
- Weekly Memory Verse: A passage has been identified for each session for memorization. The memory verse is the same for all age groups using Explore the Bible resources on the suggested use date.
- Bible Skill: A feature designed to help develop and improve Bible study skills. The feature in the Leader Guide is identical to what is included in the Personal Study Guide.
- Practice: Suggested actions to take as the leader to encourage the group to put into practice the truths discovered.
- Questions in the commentary: Questions included in the Personal Study Guide (PSG) are identified and include the page number on which they appear (PSG, p. #). Questions without the PSG page number are not printed in the PSG, giving you additional questions you might ask during the group Bible study time.
Having used my new grass trimmer, I have made an amazing discovery…my new grass trimmer does essentially the same thing as my old one just in a little different way. How it starts is a little different, but when I get done, the yard is edged just like it was with the old one. We believe you will find the same thing to be true of the new adult Leader Guide…it essentially functions like the old one, using different titles and with a few more features that will help you effectively lead your group.
G. Dwayne McCrary is the team leader for the Adult and Young Adult Explore the Bible teams, leads a weekly Bible study group for his church, an adjunct professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and carries 20-plus years of church staff experience.