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Discipleship, Missions, Orality, Uncategorized

Experiencing Joy

JoyExperiences bring more joy than things you own. Family vacations, mission trips, Christian concerts, and, yes, lively discussion in a Bible study over time become more precious than things you own.

My wife and I tackled a major downsizing this past month. We conducted an estate sale and jettisoned sofas, a bedroom suit, at least four entire shelves of books, china, our dining room furniture, and even our piano.

During the transition, I couldn’t help reflect on research for Truth That Sticks. Brain theorists said that emotions were actually chemicals in our blood stream that “etch memories.” That was true for me as I found firsthand that emotional ties to “stuff” went a lot deeper than I would have thought. Jesus had the right perspective, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt 6:19-21) In other words, joy is not about the “stuff.”

Small groups that provide learning experiences and interactivity in small groups actually add more happiness to your life. When you lecture, you literally rob joy from your participants! When you remember a Bible study and the interactivity — even good or bad interactions, the emotions come flooding back as if you’re there again.

Psalm 35:9 says “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation.” When you share a story that you have experienced–including your salvation testimony-others can vicariously share in your joy. They often want to have that joy themselves. So when a Bible story or Scripture verse rocks your world, let it overflow as a blessing to others.

This is why Snowden Ministries prioritizes learning experiences and interactivity (instead of lecture) in Bible studies. Each Bible study includes at least one learning activity and game. This isn’t just to “add interest,” but to help your participants add joy to their lives.

Give your small group joy this Christmas — and make it last all year long. Ask for a 2016 Storying Resources Catalog from SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.

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About Mark Snowden

TruthSticks originated from the book I co-authored with the late Avery Willis. Truth That Sticks: How to Communicate Velcro Truths in a Teflon World was the book and this blog and Bible studies have resulted. It's great to be partnering with churches who are committed to making disciple-makers. Request a catalog of Bible studies using orality at SnowdenMinistries@gmail.com.

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