Jun 2, 2012

Recycling Bible Studies!

SYM is a green ministry. [See our green policy here:) . As I began to wonder what we should do this summer in our Bible study, I realized I had an opportunity to recycle! But not in the usual way.


We study books of the bible, verse by verse and chapter by chapter. We've done Job, Ruth, Matthew, Mark and Luke. We done topical studies on Psalms and we've done topical studies on parables. We just completed Matthew, and it took a long time! I wondered what to do next. After some consideration, I realized that we have been doing Bible study every week for three years this June. We have never been alone in the room and we have never failed to have hospitality, fellowship and food. Our average size is about 25 to eat and dwindles down to about 12 (either by people leaving early or napping).


I decided to start again with our very first study series. I have made teaching notes through the years for most of the classes. I wondered what it would be like to repeat. So I began last week. 


I made a big deal out of it, sharing with the street youth that we were commemorating three years of Bible study. I was going to follow along the notes from the very first Chillin'. I reviewed with them our goals. And they still fit. I reviewed with them our ground rules... and it all still works just the same. We did the same ice breaker. We read Mark 1 and then had a music interlude. We had a current discussion that still work. Then we did an inductive Bible study of the powerful and fast-paced way that John Mark chooses to reveal Jesus in his opening chapter. Mark is the Indian Jones of the Gospels. It's an adventure movie from the opening scenes.


It's so much fun to reconnect with where the ministry was. We have introduced some new things since we started. Now we bless the food before we begin. Back then, prayer wasn't part of the street culture. However, it is just normal now. They want to bless the food and pray for it to heal their bodies, minds and hearts. It's so awesome how the street youth have taken prayer into their culture as their own now. 


Another change is that we review the upcoming weekly calendar after the ice breaker. We didn't do that three years ago! Ha ha! There would have been nothing on it but Bible Study. We've grown from one event to 6 events per week plus usually one on weekends. What support we have from donors, volunteers, and helpers! With many, nothing is possible. For God, nothing is impossible!


Another change is the integration of video into our Bible study. We always watch a word-for-word narration and illustration of the chapter we are studying. And we typically add a few videos from YouTube for humor. And we add worship videos as an interlude and also to play during our ending time. Often we play Bible trivia videos during our ending time, too.


So much has changed in three years, and yet it is a true blessing to go back and step alongside our footprints from three years ago. How many youth we have been privileged to know, love and serve during that time. We've lost some to death, we've lost track of much more, but we also keep in touch with hundreds each year. They continue to inspire us with their strength, courage, talent and ability to hang on when the going is tough. Here's to many more years of recycling and reusing! 



"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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