There we were, sitting around the kitchen table, drinking green tea. John and Angela have agree to host a Bible study and to invite their friends. What do we do next?
We take a few minutes to get to know people and if possible, laugh. I tease Gary because he's married a girl from Shanghai and I've heard they can be bossy. His wife Nancy says the women from Shanghai have to be bossy because the men are so stubborn. We learn names, occupations and laugh.
After a few minutes we transition to the study. I prayed a simple prayer asking God to teach us about Jesus. Michelle told us the story of the sinful woman who came and wept at jesus' feet (Luke 7:36-50). She didn't read it, she told it from memory. Then we broke into pairs and retold what we could remember.
Then we read it in English. Then, we asked them to read the story in Mandarin.
That's right, they heard the story four times before we began to discuss it. It would have been three times for native English speakers.
These are the questions we asked:
1. What do you like about the story?
2. What does this story teach us about God?
3. What does this story teach us about ourselves?
4. Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
5. If this story is true, what should be different about my life?
Then we asked if there were any needs in the group that we could pray for. Someone is having trouble getting a visa. Someone needs to pass an English exam. Someone has a difficult boss to deal with.
Michelle prayed simple prayers for each need and we left, promising to be back next Sunday afternoon.
UPDATE: Reader Bill just reminded me of a good question #6: Who could you share this story with?
On week two make sure your first question is, How did you go sharing the story and applying the learning from last week?