Encounters in Mark

encounters in Mark's gospel a BRAND NEW resource by John Campbell

john_campbell_web encounters in Mark's Gospel' brings you suggestions for a series of up to fifteen small-group conversations based on particular stories in Mark's Gospel. These conversations all share the same basic shape. They aim to help you, and everyone else in your group, to:

  • build up your confidence in actively exploring bits of the Bible
  • make connections between the biblical story and your own life story
  • find fresh vision for the business of being human today

all from watching and talking freely with each other about encounters between Jesus and those he meets - as we find them recorded in Mark's Gospel.

The first 13 studies and an introduction to the whole series are avalable below


The core ideas of contextual Bible study as used in these materials come from Gerald West, notably in his book The Academy of the Poor, published by Sheffield Academic Press in 1999 and later republished by Cluster Press of Pietermaritzburg – see especially chapter 6.

A worked example of the contextual approach, using the story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12.40-45, can be found in a web article, ‘Structural Sin: a South African Perspective’ by Gerald West at:


A whole range of other related materials using contextual approaches to Bible study can also be found on the Ujamaa Centre website:


If you wish further ideas about working with groups to help them assemble a remembered version of the story, try Janet Lees’ book Word of Mouth – using the remembered Bible for building community, published in Glasgow in 2007 by Wild Goose Publications.

The song words offered at the end of each study are by John M. Campbell, a URC minister. He is very happy for you to reproduce them for singing; simply note his name on the page.