Groundwork Transcripts Make Bible Studies More Accessible

April 23, 2020 • English

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Jane nearly had to quit her Bible study for good.

A member at Erskine Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ontario, for more than 80 years, Jane looked forward to her Tuesday evening Bible study. But her hearing loss was making it more and more difficult for her to understand the videos the group watched and to participate in discussions.

Finally, Jane reached a point where she felt like she was no longer catching enough of the words for it to be worth it. So she stopped attending.

“I really missed the other members,” Jane recalls.

But Kathy, the Bible study’s leader, didn’t give up on Jane. In part, because Kathy knows the frustration that comes with feeling like you’re missing out on spiritual development.

“I’m visually impaired, so I have all voice-enabled machines for reading,” says Kathy. “If I’m doing a devotional or a Bible study and the speaker references a Bible passage, I usually have to switch programs to a Bible reader, look up the passage, and then return to the devotional program.”

However, Kathy has also found a few biblical programs that include the words from the Bible passage along with the reflection. Some of her favorites include our Today devotional and Groundwork from ReFrame Media.

“I’ve been listening on my own for years and years and years,” says Kathy.

When Jane left the Bible study, Kathy realized Groundwork might solve her problem as well.

Each of the Groundwork episodes also come with a printable transcript, so Kathy asked Jane if she would be willing to give the Bible study another try if they switched to Groundwork instead and provided her the transcript.

“I’ll be there!” Jane responded.

Since then, Jane has been able to follow along with each of the episodes, and other members of the Bible study have enjoyed the change as well.

“Soon everyone wanted the transcript,” says Kathy. “One member even says that she goes back to them when she’s down to make her feel better.”

A Bible study leader at Erskine Presbyterian Church for more than 15 years, Kathy enjoys Groundwork for the discussion questions provided on each episode that supplement her own questions.

“I always consider it a success if everyone says one thing each week,” says Kathy.

Now, thanks to the printed transcripts available from Groundwork, Jane is able to be part of that discussion once again.

COVID-19 has put Jane and Kathy’s group on pause. But once churches are safe to meet in person again, Kathy plans to open the Bible study back up with Groundwork’s newest series on The Apostle’s Creed. Feel free to check them out yourself or your small group too.

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