Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jonah by Priscilla Shirer

book cover
Navigating a Life Interrupted
by Priscilla Shirer

ISBN-13: 9781415868492
Paperback: 157 pages
Publisher: Lifeway Church Resources
Released: July 1, 2010

Source: Bought a copy for group ladies Bible study.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted provides a personal study experience five days a week, leader helps, and viewer guides for the group video sessions of this in-depth women's Bible study.

What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! In this 7-session Bible study, Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God's invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city.

My Review:
Jonah is a 7-session group Bible study inspired by the events in the book of Jonah. It's a group study where the women meet together once a week for 60-90 minutes. During this group study, you watch a video that is 32-48 minutes long and discuss things from the workbook. The workbook had sentences that you fill in as you watch the video, then it had 5 days worth of work to do at home during the week. Each day has 4-5 pages worth of reading in the workbook. The main theme was about divine interruptions (or interventions).

Basically, if Jonah was given a second chance, we then looked at places in the Bible where people were given a second chance and then were encouraged to discuss times in our lives when God gave you a second chance. We were also encouraged to find a "Nineveh" to reach out to as a group. Our church tends to attract people who are involved in various outreaches. Our problem wasn't that we didn't want to do this but that we're already so busy.

Our group of women knew each other but were not close, and our leader was new to leading Bible studies. I would have liked to discuss some things brought up during the week that were never brought up for group discussion in the Leader's Guide. By the end, we were skipping most of the suggested questions and spent more time discussing the parts that we had questions about.

Also, it seemed like each week we were supposed to open up about ourselves. For example, we're suppose to talk about a time God gave us a second chance. We all agreed God had done so, but either due to "which one to talk about?" or "I'm not telling about that!", only the leader actually answered in front of the group. I think many group Bible studies try to get people to open up more than their level of acquaintance makes comfortable.

While I enjoyed getting to know the women who attended, I didn't feel like I really learned anything about Jonah that I couldn't learn from study Bible. The focus seemed more on looking at how something in the story might (somehow) be related to our lives and how to apply that. So it's more of a "Christian Living" study than a true "book of the Bible" study.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

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