A tool for review.

In 2014, I learned a tool for Bible study. And I started to teach it to a group of young adults. I wanted them to know what to do if I didn’t show up for Sunday school some day.

You identify a passage of Scripture. A story, perhaps, or a section of teaching. You read it out loud in the group. And then you ask these questions, slowly, giving plenty of time for conversation. But staying close to the question.

  1. What did you like about that passage?
  2. What didn’t you like?
  3. What don’t you understand?
  4. What did you learn about God?
  5. What did you learn about people?
  6. What are you going to do with what you learned?

FullSizeRender (8)It is a good tool. It gets interesting conversation. Most people don’t get permission to talk about what they don’t like abut a passage in the Bible. And the last question makes us commit to doing something.

As I was thinking about doing an annual review, I started thinking about answering the question, “What did I learn?” Not so much, what did I do, but what did I take away from the year. Not things I did, but things I learned.

Not so much of “what did I do?”  but, “what did I take away from the year?” I did a lot this year, from Nepal to running to resigning. From father of the bride to adjunct professor. But did I actually learn anything from all the activity?

And I wanted to remember that learning is not only lessons from failure: “Here’s what I’ll never do again” but also lessons from success: “Here’s what I want to do more and more.”

And then I realized that the discovery questions from the Bible study work well for thinking about a year.

So take an hour and a chair and a cup of coffee and something to write with. Take a planner from 2015 or a journal or a Facebook stream. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What did I like about 2015?
  2. What didn’t I like?
  3. What don’t I understand?
  4. What did I learn about God?
  5. What did I learn about people?
  6. What am I going to do in 2016 with what I learned?

Let us know how it goes.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.