Preparation key to Bible Conference lessons that last

Midterms have come and gone, and many students feel like they are running on little to no energy. With Bible Conference approaching next week, here are some practical tips to get yourself spiritually, mentally and physically back on track and prepared for the week:

Get a sufficient amount of sleep, and don’t over-plan for the week. The average college student needs about eight hours of sleep to function properly during the day. Many students, however, get nowhere close to fulfilling that requirement. Use the extra free time Bible Conference provides to catch up on sleep and get an appropriate amount of sleep each night.

With more free time and opportunities to work on school-related or extracurricular activities, many students are also quick to load the week with too many tasks on their to-do lists.

“Limiting yourself to a couple of specific attainable goals helps balance the feeling that you have so much you would like to get done with actually preparing yourself each day for the spiritually refreshing possibilities of the conference,” said Dr. Kevin Oberlin, a faculty member in the Division of Bible. “Deciding ahead of time how your week will progress might be the safeguard you need to make the week spiritually profitable.”

Pray. To spiritually prepare yourself to take in so many services in such a short amount of time, ask the Lord to prepare your heart in the time before and during Bible Conference. “Ask the Lord that you would have the right attitude about it,” said Sarah Donahue, a senior Bible major. She said we should ask for a spirit of appreciation, respect and willingness to learn from God’s Word, especially since we’ll be hearing three sermons each day. “We should examine our own hearts and disposition toward the Word of God,” Donahue said.

After Bible Conference, also pray that God would help you apply the lessons you’ve learned during the week to your daily life. “Ask the Lord to help you respond to what you’ve learned instead of letting it die in the few minutes after [the service]when you’re rushing out of the FMA,” Donahue said.

Use efficient note-taking skills. There is no single method of note-taking that works for everyone; different methods may work for different people.

A method that is becoming increasingly popular is taking notes in a journaling Bible. In a journaling Bible, space is available on the page to add notes right next to the passage of Scripture that they apply to. When you go back to that passage again, the notes and reminders you wrote will be automatically available for you to review.

“I did this for several years in college and enjoy the benefit of having all those notes in a treasured copy of Scripture,” Oberlin said. “Whatever system you use, it will be rewarding if you can recover some of those truths later and see how God used His Word to make you more like Jesus Christ.”

Another way to make points from a service stick out is to write one thing you’ve learned from each service on an index card. In prayer group or room devotional time, take that point and share it and talk about it with your group. This will help solidify the lesson for you and for those with whom you share it. Knowing you will be accountable for bringing something to prayer group can help you more actively listen to the sermon.