Chris had it in his head to create a sequel to the original 24 week Salt & Light study. The John study (attached PDF) follows a similar format as the original study. The 'Training Topics' of the first edition included some elements of DMM, GCT, and #NoPlaceLeft. This study does not have 'Training Topics' but rather focuses on seven stories from the Gospel of John. These are signs that reveal who Jesus is and what God can do in a person's life. The eighth lesson recalls the Great Commission of Salt & Light: Everyday Discipleship, with Jesus' words from John 20:21, "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you". We continue to practice sharing the gospel, and testimonies of God at work through answered prayers or random life experiences that boost our faith and bring us into contact with others on a spiritual level.
Each week, when we gather, we begin with Worship and Sharing for 30 minutes. During the Sharing time, one person asks these questions of the group: Did anyone share the gospel this week? Did anyone share the Bible story this week? Did anyone have an opportunity to share their testimony, have a conversation about God or pray with someone? Where did you see God at work? After that, one person presents the Bible story of the week from memory. Next, another person takes us through the lesson, 'Reflecting on the Story', where Chris has written some comments and personal application questions. When this 30 minute segment has concluded, we get food and move into smaller groups to practice telling the Bible story, or to share life and table fellowship . Finally, we return to the larger group to share goals, prayer requests, find out who is doing what next week, and get prayed out.
People sign up to do the following tasks for our next meeting. This is written in the blank, 'Reminders', on the page for next week's lesson.
Worship (5 minutes or less)
Sharing (remainder of 30 minute segment)
Tell Bible story (this with the Lesson are another 30 minute segment)
Food provided (table fellowship / small group time for 25 minutes)
Closing (10-15 minutes)
Time Keeper (uses phone to inform us when it's time to transition)
Obviously, if your meetings do not include 'Table Fellowship' you do not need food! Please adapt this plan to your own place, time, and group. Here is a little background of our group's experience:
We started meeting with three other couples in the fall of 2019. For these folks, it was the first time to be in a Bible study with their spouse. Our fellowship was rich. Many prayers were being answered. Families were healing. God was working as only God can work. When Covid hit in the spring of 2020, we switched to meeting via Zoom. By summer, we were meeting in person with social distancing. We added two more couples to the group. Module three of the study encourages participants to prepare to go out and to start new groups. That's what 'Training for Trainers' is all about. Our group, having not experienced the fellowship of a small group Bible study beforehand, was not ready for that. So, after we completed Salt & Light, we tried a couple of other studies, some with videos. We were kind of clumsy with our tech skills and often struggled with showing YouTube or DVD's. We continued the Time Keeper roll, Worship role, Sharing role, Food role, Lead the Lesson role, and the Closing role. Then, Chris brought us this new study from John, which we have enjoyed very much.