David Helm has written a very helpful book on one to one discipleship, which is used widely across our Woodridge Ministries. He introduces us to the COMA Method of reading scripture one to one with another person. This coincides with Woodridge’s emphasis on 1-on-1 Discipling. Below is a summary for this method of bible study. If you wish to purchase and read the book, it is available HERE.
The COMA Method
This can be seen as a summary of how we read anything. Even when we pick up a newspaper article, we notice what sort of thing we are reading and how it fits with other things around it (context); we read the words and sentence and paragraphs, taking note of the main events, people and content (observation); we integrate what we’ve observed in our heads and form a conclusion about what the author is trying to say (meaning); and we reflect on whether the author’s message has any relevance for our lives (application).
Context + Observation + Meaning + Application = COMA
It can be very useful to follow the COMA process consciously when we read the Bible because it encourages us to ask good questions of the passage and to understand it clearly and thoroughly. When we’re reading the Bible with someone else, it also very helpfully directs the conversation. You can work through the four steps and come to some conclusions, rather than bouncing around with lots of different random thoughts or observations. Here is one way the method can be used:
1. Read the passage aloud
2. Ask some context questions of the passage:
• What sort of writing is this? (a letter, a poem, a narrative etc?)
• Are there any clues about the circumstances under which it was written?
• What has happened so far in this particular book of the Bible?
3. Some observation questions of the passage:
• Are there any major sub-sections or breaks in the passage?
• What is the main point or points?
• What surprises are there?
• What are the key words? What words or ideas are repeated?
4. Some meaning questions of the text:
• How does this passage relate to other parts of the book?
• How does the passage relate to Jesus?
• What does this teach us about God?
• How could we sum up the meaning of this passage in our own words?
5. Some application questions of the passage:
• How does this passage challenge (or confirm) your understanding?
• Is there some attitude I need to change?
• How does this passage call on me to change the way I live?
Below are some home-grown questions in the COMA format. Please download and use any of the below Woodridge COMA Notes made available for free by our Young Mom’s Leadership Team. Questions are available for the books of Ruth, Philippians, Jonah, James, Hebrews, Galatians, Ephesians, & Colossians. More resources to come as we continue to use this method within our Woodridge Discipleship Umbrella.
Book of Ruth
Book of Philippians
Book of Jonah
Book of James
Book of Hebrews
Hebrews Topic of Rest Questions
Hebrews Topic of Angels Questions
Hebrews Tabernacle Questions
Hebrews Prophet, Priest, and King Questions
Hebrews Introduction Questions Hebrews Chapter 13
Hebrews Chapter 12 Hebrews Chapter 11.20-40
Hebrews Chapter 11.1-19
Hebrews Chapter 10
Hebrews Chapter 9
Hebrews Chapter 8
Hebrews Chapter 7
Hebrews Chapter 6
Hebrews Chapter 5
Hebrews Chapter 4
Hebrews Chapter 3
Hebrews Chapter 2
Hebrews Chapter 1
Hebrews Sacrificial System Questions
Book of Galatians
Book of Ephesians
Book of Colossians