It’s time to get ready for (drum roll, please) the 2nd Annual Siesta Summer Bible Study! Every woman is welcome! If you’ve already got a different Bible study scheduled for the summer with your friends or a group from your church or neighborhood, that’s fabulous. Go forth and do that thing!
For those of you not participating, it is important to know that we will not hog the blog all summer with this Bible study activity. It will only require a post or two every other week. We will have plenty of other things going for all our Siestas.
This opportunity is for the rest of us that either don’t yet have a plan to stay in the Word this summer or just think this sounds different and fun. And is it ever! We had a blast last summer. I really do think it was one of the most unique ways any of us has ever done Bible study. Our class was made up of single women, married women, widowed women, young women, not-nearly-as-young women, church-going women, not-yet-church going women, happy women, angry women, SAHMs, heads of corporations, and women all over the United States, many from Canada (yea, Canadian Siestas!!) and several other nations. It’s hard to find a class like that.
You interested? OK, so here are the answers to the most important questions. Unless you participated with us last year, the concept will not make sense until you’ve read all the instructions so hang in there till the very last word and I think you’ll get the idea. Here goes:
WHAT BIBLE STUDY ARE WE DOING? This summer’s Bible study selection is the workbook called:
Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. (Due to our summer schedules and our every-other-week format, we will not add Jennifer’s coinciding DVD sessions into our study. You, on the other hand, are welcome to purchase those and work them into your own personal or group experience. All we’re requiring and officially working from in SSBS is the workbook.)
HOW LONG IS IT? Very good question! Jennifer’s study is a perfect 6-weeks long. Doable for the summer, don’t you think??
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? The basic premise of the study is to learn how to guard what we’re saying to ourselves and what we’re stuffing destructively into our minds. Hmmmm. I think I could use that. How about you?
WHEN DO WE START? Since Tuesday is LPM’s normal day for Bible study, we tend to be partial to it. We’ll launch our Siesta Summer Bible Study 2009 on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 then, in like fashion to last year, we will “meet” every other Tuesday from that point on until August 4th. (MORE ON HOW WE WILL MEET TOWARD THE END OF THIS POST.) We’re just talking about meeting four times here. Between those times we’ll each do two weeks of homework on our own. The assignments are not long and but they are packed with riches. I really do think we can work this format into even some of our busiest schedules, Siestas! And, boy, will our families and friends and work mates be glad we did! With all the relational demands and upside-down schedules of summer, this is no time to take off from the study of God’s Word. As I told you last summer, for me, 3 months out of Bible study is roughly 2 ½ months in the pit.
So, here’s the meeting schedule:
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 (1st Mini-Session/LAUNCH/Group instructions)
(DO WEEKS ONE AND TWO OF HOMEWORK ON YOUR OWN.)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 (2nd Mini-Session/Group Instructions)
(DO WEEKS THREE AND FOUR OF HOMEWORK ON YOUR OWN.)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 (3rd Mini-Session/Group Instructions)
(DO WEEKS FIVE AND SIX OF HOMEWORK ON YOUR OWN.)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 (4th Mini-Session/Conclusion)
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET STARTED? 3 Very Important Things!
1. You will each need to get your own copy of the workbook “Me, Myself and Lies” by Jennifer Rothschild and have it well in your possession by the time we launch. (We aren’t able to get it for you through Living Proof but I wish we could.) Please don’t wait till the last minute to get it or you may not be able to start on time! If you have a LifeWay Christian Store, you should be able to find it on the shelf but the easiest way may be on line through the LifeWay Website. Here’s the link:
2. You are strongly encouraged to pull together a small group if at all possible. You are MORE THAN WELCOME TO PARTICIPATE SOLO, but, for the sake of richest fellowship and best accountability, try as hard as you can to enlist three or four other women to meet with you every other Tuesday. It could be in one of your homes or in a Starbucks, for crying out loud. (You don’t have to wait until the evening to meet but keep in mind that the mini-sessions will not be posted until that morning. If you meet too early in the day, the video may not be on-line yet.) Four meetings this summer shouldn’t be too overwhelming and you can rotate houses if you like. Make sure that the women you invite to participate know that the gatherings will be low on stress and high on much needed fellowship and rich discussion.
If you want to work food into it, by all means do!! That’s what we did last year and it was so much fun. We will not post recipes this year because it’s not part of the original series as it was for “No Other Gods.” Keep the emphasis on a relaxed and refreshing atmosphere where you can develop some wonderful relationships in Christ. In this superficial culture that surrounds us, where friendship takes place through text message (I’m as guilty as anybody!), we have a huge deficit of pure depth in women’s relationships. Let’s make this real. The goal is to have those two weeks of Bible study finished each time you meet (after the launch) but the fellowship will still be worth your while if you couldn’t get all your homework accomplished. Let’s have lots of encouragement without loads of condemnation.
AN ALTERNATIVE: MEETING ON-LINE IN SMALL GROUPS. By far, the way to get the most out of this experience will be to form small groups in your area where you can get together face-to-face. However, if you try really hard and can’t make it happen, get a few women to meet with you on conference call or on line and work through the discussion questions together. It’s not ideal but it works and it is still more effective than going solo. Email worked quite successfully for several groups last summer. If you have no choice but to go solo, that’s fine, too. Just work extra hard to stay connected through the mini-sessions and through participating with feedback. Your Siesta Mama just wants the best for you.
3. Sign up ON LAUNCH DAY (not before and not today) and be so kind to give the biographical information we’ll request. (Questions like, Group or solo? If group, how many? Who’s the group comprised of? Where are you located?) This is one of the most fun parts. We get to see what our class looks like. THIS TIME I WILL ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. AT OUR FIRST GATHERING I’LL ASK YOU TO TAKE ONE PICTURE OF YOUR GROUP (or yourself if you go solo and if you look remarkably like Angelina Jolie, we’re going to get suspicious) AND SEND IT IN BY EMAIL OVER THE NEXT WEEK AND WE’LL TRY TO PUT IT TOGETHER A SLIDE SHOW. Wouldn’t it be fun to see what we look like?? Don’t do it yet. I’ll tell you when. MORE ON THAT LATER.
SO, BETH, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HOW IT WILL WORK? Sure!
On each of our meeting days (every other week starting Tuesday, June 23rd through Tuesday, August 4th), I will “facilitate” our summer study through a video mini-session about 15 minutes long. In it I’ll give you instructions for discussion questions or activities for your group meeting that day based on our previous two weeks of study. (THE VIDEOS ARE PITIFUL, ONE-TIME-TAKES, DONE IN-HOUSE WITHOUT PROFESSIONALS. AND IT’S PART OF WHAT MAKES IT FUN. LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS DRAMATICALLY. THEY’RE SO BAD THAT SOMETIMES SABRINA AND I GET SO TICKLED THAT WE CRY. BUT THE INFORMATION IS REAL AND THE STUDY IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.) You will then implement them into your gathering. If at all possible, try to watch them as a small group at the very beginning of your meeting time so that everybody’s on the same page. (Bar any unforeseen technical difficulties, I will make sure the post is up first thing on those Tuesday mornings.)
YOU’LL CHECK BACK IN EVERY SINGLE TIME WE “MEET” AND THIS IS HOW:
Your way of checking back in with me will be by telling me something about your gathering afterward in a comment to that same post. It will be left up all day Wednesday for your feedback. YOU WILL BE INSTRUCTED NOT TO LEAVE A COMMENT UNTIL AFTER YOUR SMALL GROUP MEETING. The comments are meant to be your feedback to the study. I’ll remind you of that each time.
It’s going to be so much fun! And, at the top of our list of priorities, it’s going to be a joy to God, attract His wonderful favor, bring Him some substantial glory, and help keep us out of the ditch.
REMEMBER, TODAY IS NOT SIGN-UP DAY. BUT, if you’ve already got a plan going for Bible study this summer, let’s hear it! Let’s have the entire population of Siestaville in the Word of God!
I dearly love you.