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9.29.2011

Book Review - Reflecting Him (A Bible Study For Groups & Individuals)

Be sure to answer my question at the end of this post for your chance to be entered in a prize drawing.

Reflecting Him: Living for Jesus and Loving It is a Bible study book by Carla McDougal that takes participants through a study of living for Jesus in the day to day. This is a 10 week study with five daily lessons each week. Each week has its own theme and its own metaphor. The first week has a group lesson and then the daily lessons begin with the chapter for week 2.
Week 1: Reflections in Life (Mirror analogy) Group Session
Week 2: Created for God, by God (Clay and potter metaphor)
Week 3: Senses of the Soul (Metaphor using each of the 5 senses)
Week 4: The Power Source (Metaphor using light)
Week 5: Prayer from the Inside Out (Metaphor of rooms in a house)
Week 6: Prayer Fuels Faith (Analogy of oil drilling)
Week 7: The Control Syndrome (Using metaphor from gardening and soil)
Week 8: Roadblocks Ahead (Analogy uses road blocks, detours, etc)
Week 9: Fit for Jesus (Physical fitness analogy)
Week 10: Reflect Him (A review of all of the weeks) Group Session

Each daily assignment includes 5 elements:
  1. An introductory narrative that included story and analogy. About a page long.
  2. Scripture Excavation – this part included looking up scriptures and filling in blanks for thoughts about the scripture
  3. Hidden Treasures – Ties the weekly metaphor with the scriptures.
  4. Celebrating Treasure Gifts – This section includes a practical take-home lesson
  5. Reflection Pause- This is kind of a challenge for the day.

Daily homework includes filling in blanks and looking up verses in the Bible. Some of the verses are longer passages and some are shorter. Some readers might think 10 weeks is a little long, however, it’s nice to take some time with a study and not have to search for new group material immediately as is the case with some shorter studies.


What I Liked
The daily homework is a good length for busy people. It’s not daunting for people to stay caught up. I also think the author does a great job of balancing narrative, study, and personal application. The book covers a lot of ground and it’s a great study for a mixed group (people at different levels of spiritual maturity). The study gets to the heart of thoughts and feelings and perceptions, encouraging participants to be transparent with their thoughts—a good group bonding opportunity. I think this study would work very well as a personal study outside of a group too, and many of the questions lend themselves well to journaling.


What I Didn’t Like
Readers have to look hard to find the information for leaders. There is a small link in the front material for where leaders info can be downloaded from the web. In many ways, this study felt more like a personal study than a group study. There were more personal questions than group questions. There were a couple of places where a statement was made followed by some blank lines. It was unclear what the reader should write in those lines. The statement didn’t prompt any personal action to justify having the lines fill space. Here’s an example: “Did you notice how the blind man obeyed before he could see? That is faith!” (p 37) This was followed by 3 blank lines.


Conclusions
I liked that the metaphor for each week was incorporated well into the study, but it was hard to see how each of those fit into the overall theme from the title “Reflecting Him.” The author included many educational tidbits along with the metaphors/analogies used in book.

It’s so difficult to find a good study for a group. McDougal has done a great job of taking Bible study seriously. She’s avoided the fluff that so many studies include and stuck with the meat. As a former Bible study leader, I give her a big thumbs up for that! Reflecting Him is a great starting place for new believers and a great review for those who have grown stagnant in their faith.


Grand Prize Giveaway:
Instant Leader Kit:
Video Teaching Series
Bible Study Book
Leader Guide
Music CD
 
 Would you like a chance to win this great Bible study leaders packet from the author? Comment below and tell me what you look for in a good small group or personal Bible study. I'll draw one name on the 7th of  October and send that name on to the grand prize drawing on the 10th. Two of my readers have already been grand prize winners in similar drawings!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking part in the Reflecting Him Blog Tour. I love hot the Lord puzzles His children together for His purposes to be accomplished. Thank you for being a piece to the puzzle!

    From My Heart to Yours,

    Carla McDougal
    www.reflectivelifeministries.org

    ReplyDelete

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