How to use these Bible study guides

You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to lead an engaging discussion with elders. Here are some basic tips for using the Spiritual ElderCare guides. For more in-depth information, including examples of what to say, read How to Lead a Bible study for Elders with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

  1. Generally, Bible study discussions last about 30 minutes.
  2. It’s helpful to have identical Bibles for each participant. People enjoy holding a Bible (even if they no longer read), and identical versions enable everyone to refer to a page number rather than citations (e.g., “we’ll be on page 498” instead of “we’ll be looking at Luke 13”). The wonderful Gideons International donates large-print New Testament/Psalms Bibles, in either English Standard Version (ESV) or King James (KJV), to accredited senior care facilities. I recommend the ESV.
  3. Before gathering people together, place an index card in each Bible to mark the spot where you’ll be reading.
  4. If you don’t have actual Bibles, print out the passage on a single sheet of paper using 18- or 20-point type. Make enough copies for everyone.
  5. If any residents are able and willing to read the section or even single verses aloud, encourage them to do so. Ask for volunteers.
  6. The questions in these guides are merely suggestions; if something else comes up in the group, feel free to follow that line of thought! Just keep asking encouraging questions that repeat and reinforce the eternal message: God Loves You and is With You.

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