BY ALLEN LIPPS
ost Week of Prayer speakers invited to Hawaii stay for a week, tell stories, sing songs, have a few laughs, and see the sights. But the recent Mauna Loa school speaker got a workout zipping between meetings at the Hilo church, the Mauna Loa school, and the Kona school. Lee Gugliotto of Empower Ministries, telling story after story about his days growing up with his parents and brother in Brooklyn, entertained listeners each morning.
However, it was what transpired after those early-morning sessions that caused a revival among the students at Mauna Loa. After each morning meeting, all 37 students in grades 1 through 8 gathered in the cafeteria for a one-hour lesson in how to do inductive Bible study. The lesson was based on the story of Samson, as told in Judges 13-16.
Students first read the Scripture, one verse per student, chapter by chapter. After each chapter was read to get an overview, all chapters were given basic titles. Then they read Scripture a second time and looked for strengths and accomplishments or weaknesses in Samsons life. This method of Bible study really caught on, with one fourth grader insisting, Bible study is really fun! When Pastor G left on Friday, he encouraged the students and staff to continue using the tools he had taught them. They took him seriously. Students got together the following Tuesday and did some deep thinking about how Samsons story could apply to their own lives.
At a staff meeting that afternoon, Jeannette Teehee, Julia Kohltfarber, and Principal Allen Lipps decided to take advantage of these newfound Bible study tools. They divided the school into six groups of six, each called Ohana (Family) Groups. A seventh or eighth grader leads each group, which meets every Thursday morning for the first hour of school to study the Bible. Older students in each group mentor their younger study buddies.
During that hour they get to know one another a little better each time by praying, singing, studying the Bible, and thinking of ways to apply witnessing techniques. One young leader, Elias Castillo, was a little nervous about being in charge of a group. However, after leading out for the first time, he told his teacher, Im going to be able to do this. In fact, next time Im going to get a little prayer journal that we are going to use to keep track of our prayers in, and every time one is answered, well highlight it. This is fun!--Originally printed in the Pacific Union Recorder, June 2005.