This blog post is short but sweet! I’ve used a technique to focus my group member’s attention and get everyone re-centered on the Bible study session when I sense that their attention spans have waned, or when they appear to be distracted, disinterested, or just generally non-engaged.
The Bible study resource I use (LifeWay’s Bible Studies For Life) always begins with a selection of Scripture – it’s Bible study. Those verses become the focal point of my group’s study. There are typically 10-12 verses that make up each of our studies.
In order to get my group members’ attention focused on the session, I have learned to ask them to read the verses out loud as a group. The trick? I ask each person to read only one verse as we take turns reading through the passage; some read from their Bible, while others use the Scripture printed in their Personal Study Guide. We read the passage in order, so everyone must pay close attention to the Scripture being read. Why? Because my group members prefer different translations of Scripture! The way my HCSB Bible translates one verse may be different than the way it is translated in the NIV, NASB, ESV, or KJV. My group members have to listen very closely to the subtle differences in the translations to keep up. It makes them stay laser-focused as we read the focal passage before diving into the study and understand the verses two or three at a time, winding our way through the focal passage.
Even if my group members choose to read their assigned verse from the selection of Scripture that is printed in their Personal Study Guide (meaning that we are all reading from the same translation), they must still pay close attention to the person on their right or left as we take turns going around the circle, reading one verse each.
Although I could read the focal passage to the group before beginning the Bible study, I have discovered that it helps to center my group’s attention if they are the ones doing the reading, especially if it’s one verse per person, one verse at a time.