The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study Bible Study for children/teens/families!
I'm back again with a newer Bible study program we've been using during our family Bible devotional times. Here's what we've been using over the last month, and what we thought about it!
Starr Meade has written numerous Bible devotionals and studies for families, and this is probably her biggest project to date. We've used two of her other family devotional books that she's written, so we were curious about this set that came in the mail which included four paperback volumes to study plus a separate answer key book. Each book contains around 200 pages, give or take a few.
The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study is about, of course, the Bible! I wholeheartedly believe that the best book I've ever studied is the Bible. It has had the most impact in my life. This set of books is actually a survey of the entire Bible.
There are two volumes of studies on the Old Testament, and two volumes of studies on the New Testament.
In the 4-6 weeks we've had these books, it obviously would be impossible to use the entire series, reading almost the entire Bible, in that length of time. Oh, I could have read the entire set on my own, but then we wouldn't be able to benefit from using these books, bit by bit, as a family.
First, I flipped through the books to get the general feel of how the materials are to be used. Then, I read through the "Quick Start" and "Getting Started" sections, which were easy to understand. There are two ways suggested to use these Bible materials:
1. Read the Bible passages listed on each page and answer the accompanying questions.
2. Read through the entire Bible, using the workbooks as guides, and answer the accompanying questions.
How did we choose to use this in our own family?
We chose to read through the Scriptures, day by day, page by page, and follow the book guide and answer the questions that go with each section. We spent about 30 minutes each day reading out of the Bible, answering the questions together, and having discussions about what we were reading.
What did we think about it?
The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study is an excellent overview of the Holy Scriptures. Starting at Genesis, and working through until Revelation, is a great way for our children and teens to get a bird's eye view of the Scriptures. I like the thought of a Bible study program that takes families through the entire Bible, from beginning to end. I don't know that there's much out there on the market that will do that.
Because The Most Important Thing... is an overview, it doesn't go into depth about most topics. Our family loves to dive into topics and really examine them. Maybe it takes us six months to use a family Bible devotional book that only has 60 lessons in it? So what! We don't care! :) We really enjoy talking long and hard about what we read, when we have the time and opportunity to do that. Sometimes, we'll even go grab one of our "word study" books to examine the Greek or Hebrew words used in a Bible verse.
The format of these study materials is to read a portion of Scripture, and then answer a series of questions. What I was disappointed to learn is that most of the questions are simple "who", "what", "when", "where" types of questions. For children who haven't had much exposure to the Bible, this may be appropriate. For families who have studied the Bible together and are very interested in how these Scriptures apply to our lives, this series of books may not meet your needs.
While I love seeing a Bible study written for the purpose of taking students and families through the entire Bible, and I applaud that effort, my girls were disappointed in this study. They were expecting more application, more depth, more...I don't know. They could just rattle off the answers with almost no thought to it, and our #1 goal is a family is to get to the heart.
So, here's what we did to make accommodations to fit my girls (ages 11 and 13). We would read the passage together, answer the quick questions, and then talk about something interesting that has been debated over the centuries, or that people often get confused about, or the ways that different churches and/or cults have misused that passage of Scripture or have twisted it to mean something entirely different.
See - we don't just get stuck in a rut with simple W-W-W-W-W-H questions (Who-What-When-Where-Why-How), although the "why" and the "how" are much more our family's style of things.
But in Starr Meade's defense, I'd say that some of the paragraphs she's written to explain passages are also very good - and will inspire more discussion, so families can take this material and use it in the manner that will work well for their own family!
Interestingly, we did find an Either/Or fallacy on one of the lessons, where neither option she provided was a true statement, even though one was supposed to be correct, according to the author. My husband was impressed that one of the girls noticed this and mentioned it to us. And, there was another phrase where Mead talked about Jesus striking Satan's heel, when she really meant to say that Jesus would crush Satan's head.
But that's okay. My writing has errors in it from time to time, as you lovely readers have probably noticed! I want my girls to be sharp and on the alert, so if something isn't correct or someone is trying to deceive them (which Starr Meade was not attempting to do), they will sense the red flags going up and will realize that something isn't correct.
Would I recommend this Bible study to families? Yes. However, if you aren't comfortable with having Bible discussions in your family, and you prefer something that goes into depth and asks the harder questions, this may not be the best fit for your family.
If, however, you enjoy having family discussions about Bible topics and passages, and that's your style of family worship time, then you can easily take this program and run with it! My girls like some of the other studies we've used, but this would meet our needs if we continue to adapt it for our own family's use.
Click HERE to view a sample of The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study.
You can also learn more about Crossway Publishers and their books HERE.
Do your children and teens enjoy discussing Bible topics and passages together with you, or is this something that makes them uncomfortable?
Disclaimer: I received one complete set of The Most Important Thing You'll Ever Study in exchange for my use and honest review of it here for you. No other compensation was provided.
Hi! I'm Julieanne! You'll find me in the kitchen trying new Trim Healthy Mama recipes, loving God, and carrying out that love as I bless my husband and teen daughters.
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