This resource has been designed to help men and women read, study, and listen to the Bible in more meaningful ways. We believe God has created us to live and learn in community with His people, so, the Journal is used best in groups. When people show up having personally spent quality time in God’s Word, the group benefits, and each member has the opportunity to grow. The goal is to challenge group members toward personal life transformation – moving from where they currently are to where God intends them to be.
The Sunday Sermon
The first step is to make sure everyone in your group takes notes during the Sunday morning message at Saylorville. Messages are posted online on Sunday mornings in case someone in your group misses a Sunday. The resources and helps in the Journal are designed to be used in conjunction with the key passage(s) from the Sunday sermon. Each Bible Study Journal includes sections for every week of the current Saylorville sermon series.
Ideally, you and your group members will dive deep into Scripture by working through the main steps of Bible study each week. Depending on when your group meets, you may ask your group to complete the steps before or after your weekly meeting. The Journal has built-in flexibility, so you can choose the best way to use it with your group. As a leader, you may want to add specific questions each week, custom-designed for your group. You can also pull a few questions from the weekly Sermon Questions that are posted every Sunday morning.
In order to get the most out of this resource, and out of your time together as a Community Group, it’s important that you encourage participation during and between group meetings. Start a text thread, or an email chain with specific questions or new learnings each week. Celebrate when someone makes a discovery in Scripture that’s new to them. Be sure to build a group environment that highlights the transformation that comes from Holy Spirit-led application of God’s Word!
USING THE BIBLE STUDY JOURNAL IN YOUR GROUP DiscussionS
Personal spiritual growth takes commitment, so The Bible Study Journal begins with a Commitment page. At the beginning of each sermon series, encourage your group members to prayerfully agree to becoming more like Jesus together. Refer back to these commitments throughout the season to celebrate wins and encourage ongoing growth.
It’s important to develop a consistent plan for getting into the Word of God daily. The Bible Study Journal includes a simple Bible Reading Plan that will help your group follow along with our Sunday morning sermons. If you or your group would like to read through bigger sections of Scripture at a time, additional reading plans can be added to the one provided in the Journal.
Each Journal includes a Resources section specific to the current sermon series. Use these resources and helps to deepen your understanding of the passage each week, and encourage your group members to do the same. When you meet together, ask your group to share some of the Bible study resources they found particularly helpful that week.
The Attributes page is a reminder that all of Scripture points to Who God is, not just what He does. Whenever you read a passage, look for Him before asking how this relates to you. The Bible is a book about God! Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not. The more you look for His character, the more you start to see it in every passage. When you gather with your group each week, ask them which of the attributes of God were on display in the key passage(s) that week.
Each week, the Journal includes sections titled, “Observation”, “Interpretation”, and “Application”. These three key steps of Bible study will guide you and your group into deeper engagement with the text each week. Since the steps are the same every week, you’ll get familiar with them quickly and will be able to dive deeper into each one as time goes on. Use the resources, suggestions, and helps as you study study the Bible for life transformation. When your group meets together, don’t be afraid to share some of your key learnings from the passage – remember, we’re better together!
One of the keys to learning is to take Sermon Notes. Encourage your group to follow along carefully on Sunday mornings, and then to write down important statements, passages, illustrations, or questions that stood out to them. The notes you take during the weekly sermon will provide great discussion material when you get together with your group!
Use the Personal Study pages throughout the week to put your thoughts down as you observe, interpret, and apply Scripture every day. These pages are blank canvases, so encourage your group to jot down notes, write down quotes, or journal key learnings from the passages each week.
Fill out the Growth Plan every week to help you memorize, paraphrase, and stay accountable with what you’re learning. As a group leader, these Growth Plans could be a great resource to help encourage your group to apply God’s Word. Ask your group members to fill out their Growth Plans each week, and then review them when you gather together again.
The Prayer Journal is for personal or Community Group prayer requests. Use it and watch God answer prayer.
Our vision at Saylorville is to be a church that makes more people more like Jesus. We want to be changed daily into people who look more like our Savior. At the end of each Bible Study Journal, you’ll find a “More Like Jesus” section. Walk your group through the questions in this section to help solidify the lessons you have learned throughout the sermon series.