LEGO Serious Play® proves to be very helpful in the construction of meaning during Bible study groups. This I found out with the research I did for my Bachelor in Theology-thesis. With this article I’d like to share a case study with you.
One evening I got together with a Bible study group to discuss the topic of “friendship”. First of all I asked the participants to build a LEGO® model that shows what friendship means to them. They all did and we shared our findings.
Then a passage from the Bible came into play. We all read John 15:12-17 (NIV), that says: ‘My command is this: “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”’
I asked all the participants to adjust their LEGO® model if they wanted to after meditating on this passage from the Bible. Herewith I’d like to show you what both exercises meant to one of the participants of that Bible study group. It is an illustration of a changed insight:
At first I had put my friends around me (1). Amongst other things the Biblical text said “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends …”. Then I thought: Why am I in the middle myself? To me that was quite an eye-opener. […] I have a big circle of friends, it feels like managing. Because of this Biblical text, and because of what I saw I had built, I knew: but that is not what it really is about (2).
The weeks after the evening we had all spent together as a Bible study group, this participant got to experience her new insight even more, in practice. Being really busy she tended to get into the habit of managing her friendships again. But then a friend needed attention that actually couldn’t wait. The participant recalled the specific evening the topic of friendship had been at the centre of her attention. She decided not to manage this friend’s need in regard to her own schedule, being in the centre again herself, but to simply give her friend a call, and to put her friend’s need first before everything else. If she wouldn’t have been at that Bible study evening, using LEGO Serious Play®, most likely she wouldn’t have done anything else than what she was accustomed to do: managing her friendships, being in the centre herself. But now she didn’t, as she had gained new insights.
This is not the only story there is to be told. More information on how I got to make use of LEGO Serious Play® within Bible study groups will be posted tomorrow.
Also, feel free to contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org. In Dutch, a report I have written and more information is to be found on www.bouwenaanbetekenis.nl.
Kaj ten Voorde, The Netherlands