How To Lead A Small Group Bible Study?
Prepare Yourself to Lead – Truly spiritual ministry emerges from the overflow of your personal relationship with God. There are three essential tasks to preparing yourself as a leader:
Study God’s Word on your own Pray for each person in your group Pray for the Spirit’s guidance as you lead your group You can’t go wrong when you start by remembering how much you need God’s help to love and lead his people.
You can’t go wrong when you start by remembering how much you need God’s help to love and lead his people.
The Formula for Success All Great Leaders Follow 4 Easy Ways to Breathe New Life into Bible Study 3 Things Logos Can Do for the Lay Leader Logos as a Small Group Study Platform
- 0.1 What to expect in a small group Bible study?
- 0.2 How many people should be in a small group Bible study?
- 1 What are good questions to ask in a Bible small group?
- 2 How often should small groups meet?
- 3 How do you welcome new members in a Bible study group?
- 4 What does the Bible say about leading groups?
What to expect in a small group Bible study?
Note: This is a great handout for new group members so they know what to expect. If you’ve been encouraged to join a small group, you’ve probably heard a list of things you can expect to experience. Small-group directors and pastors might sell small groups by saying that you’ll make life-long friends, that every meeting will leave you feeling happy about life, and that small groups are the cure-all for all that ails you.
But to be honest, we’re often guilty of overpromising. Here are some realistic expectations for small groups: Expect to know you’re not alone. When you spend time with other people you’re able to see their finer points. You’re also able to see their flaws. As my favorite book title declares: Everybody’s Normal Till You Get To Know Them,
But, it’s good to know we’re not alone in our flaws. Only Jesus is perfect, and it’s unfair to expect perfection from anyone else—or yourself. While thinking about our flaws might be depressing, there’s good news: Once we see each other as we truly are, in need of someone to redeem and save us, we can move closer to one another in life-changing community.
Expect to find other people who are also new to the small-group experience. When you try something new, you’re worried about what to expect: the dress code, the depth of study, the group dynamics. People who have been part of groups for a while forget how nerve-racking it can be. But remember that you’re not the only person who’s new to small groups.
Others will have the same questions. So relax, open up, ask questions, and just be yourself. Expect to begin some new relationships. During your time together, there’s a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to begin new relationships. At the same time, meeting for only a few weeks doesn’t usually translate into a life-long friendship simply because you’ve met.
- To build those relationships, get together outside the group meetings.
- Some intentionality goes a long way in developing meaningful relationships.
- Expect that trust will deepen over time.
- As you meet with your group, you’ll develop trust over time.
- As your trust deepens, your discussions can go deeper as well.
Don’t expect to jump into the deep end at the first meeting. It’s simply a natural part of forming relationships. But don’t be content with simply answering basic questions or staying at surface-level sharing. Take a risk and share a little more each time you’re together.
- Expect to learn something new.
- Unless a small group is grounded with a biblical foundation, it’s no different than a club or social group.
- A small group should always point you toward Scripture.
- As you study God’s Word and apply it, you’ll learn more about God and one another.
- Studying Scripture in a small group may not make you the next great theologian, but studying Scripture is “useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.
Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” ( 2 Timothy 3:16, MSG). Expect not only to learn something new, but also to discover your next steps for growth. Expect to have an opportunity to use your spiritual gifts.
- As you get to know others better, you’ll begin to understand their needs, and this gives you an opportunity to use your spiritual gifts to serve them.
- For instance, you might provide refreshments or record prayer requests.
- Or you might help a group member with a do-it-yourself project, or simply listen to someone going through crisis.
As a member of the group, you simply need to listen for needs and take initiative to use your gifts to meet them. Expect to get back what you put into your group. This is true for just about everything in life and it’s true of your time in a small group.
Make the most of your time together by sharing in a transparent way. Come to meetings prepared, having read the study passage, and you’ll have more to offer to the discussion. You’ll probably take away more as well. If you attend regularly, you’ll develop deeper trust and relationships. Scripture talks about getting back what you put in when it says, “What a person plants, he will harvest.
The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvest a crop of real life, eternal life” ( Galatians 6:7-8, MSG).
- Your small group should be fun and help you move forward in spiritual growth.
- If your first experience with a small group isn’t a good one, don’t give up.
- God created us to live together in life-giving community.
- But living together in community takes work.
- Biblical community doesn’t just happen when a small group is formed.
It takes transparency, commitment, and openness to God’s leading for a group to really come together. Come expecting to grow, to learn, and to invest in others in your group. —Mark Ingmire is the Small Groups and Adult Education Pastor at Savannah Christian Church in Savannah, Georgia; copyright 2013 by Christianity Today.
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How many people should be in a small group Bible study?
5 Key Numbers Affecting Your Bible Study Groupand you Never Knew I’ve led the discipleship/groups ministries at three churches (so far!). As God allowed me to serve these churches, I discovered there are unseen forces at work in Bible study groups. If you are a group leader, there are at least 5 key numbers affecting your Bible study group.
Did you know? The number 1, Is your group attendance plateaued? Are you in decline? The number 1 may be part of your challenge. The number 1 represents a key aspect of group life: your group needs 1 prospect for every active group member, If your group has 12 active members, you need a list of at least 12 people who are potential new members for your group.
A relationship must be cultivated with these adults, which means that every time your group does something fun, the people on your prospect list should be invited to spend time with your group. As your group serves together beyond the church campus, invite your prospects to join you.
Group members should regularly invite their friends, family, and neighbors to your group’s Bible study time. Groups don’t grow because they don’t have a group of people they are cultivating for membership in the group. Here’s a simple exercise to help your group discover prospects: ask each group member to write down the name of 5 people they know who do not attend church, but are the right age to attend your group.
If you have a group of 12 people, you would discover 60 new prospects in no more than 5 minutes! The number 18, Most ongoing groups tend to turn inward when they’ve been together more than 18 months – that’s what the number 18 reminds us. Former Lifeway Director of Sunday School, David Francis, was known for saying, “The natural inertia of any group is to turn inward.” He’s right.
- I’ve seen it in the Bible study groups I’ve led.
- If your Bible study group has been together more than a year-and-a-half, ask yourself how many guests your group continues to see.
- Not as many as at the start? That’s fairly typical, and that means group leaders must remain especially vigilant in keeping the group focused outwardly, welcoming guests warmly and assimilating them into the life of the group.
The number 15, This number represents the square feet per person that is needed in adult groups. People need personal space, and the place they meet needs enough spread-out room to make them comfortable. If your group is in a cramped space, people will stop attending, and possibly choose another group that has more room.
- Let’s say the place your group meets has 300 square feet of space.
- Divide 300 by 15 sq. ft.
- Per person, and you’ll see that the room could hold a max of 20 people.
- But keep reading, because that’s when the number 80 comes into play! The number 80,
- When a meeting space is at 80% of its capacity, it’s full.
There may be some empty seats, but visually the room looks like it is full, and that discourages people from continuing to attend. If people cannot sit where they want, and others are forced to sit on the front row, they’ll think twice before coming back.
How do you know if your meeting space is at 80% capacity? Do the exercise above and determine the maximum number of people the room should hold, and multiply that by 80%. A room with a capacity of 20 people will tend to max out attendance when 16 people regularly attend the group’s Bible study. Can a group push past 80% capacity? The answer is yesin the short-term.
When groups run close to 100% capacity, they almost always drop below the 80% threshold as time passes. The solution? Start a new group! The number 12, The number 12 is the optimal size for a Bible study group. You may be part of a much larger group, but those are not ideal for making disciples.
- Yes, you can teach the Bible to a larger group, but discipleship requires proximity.
- Jesus poured his life into 12 men, and even went a step further with his inner circle of three (Peter, James, and John).
- In the book Countdown by David Francis and Rick Howerton, one a Sunday School expert and the other a small-group expert, agreed that 12 people per group was the ideal size (not just them, but other experts were surveyed, too).
There was a caveat, though. They said that the ideal size was 12, plus or minus 4. A group is optimally positioned to make disciples when it has a minimum of 8 people, and a max of 16. Pay attention to these key numbers, because they are in play at all times! If your group is too large, start another one.
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How do I become a good Bible study leader?
Recruiting leaders for a Bible study can seem a daunting task. Here are the top ten qualities to keep in mind as you begin your search.
Good leaders are contagious – Look for those whose interest in the Bible is contagious. People don’t expect a Bible study leader to be a Bible expert. What makes the biggest impression is the leader’s excitement to dig in, which rubs off on the whole group! Good leaders are learners – Hand in hand with a love for the Bible is a sincere interest in the material being taught. Even if the leader finds the week’s lesson a little on the dry side, good leaders come ready to dive in. At their core, good Bible study leaders are learners who are ready to see what God can do on a weekly basis. Good leaders prepare – Members understand when a leader’s week gets unexpectedly busy, but good leaders prioritize preparation. Just as enthusiasm for the Bible is contagious, being prepared also catches on. And remember that organization and preparation can look different. Even if a person is a little disorganized, that does not mean they won’t be a great leader.
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Good leaders put out the welcome mat – A safe and welcoming environment is fostered primarily by the leader. Even if a member’s day starts out hectic, walking into a Bible study and being welcomed by a leader’s smile can really help turn things around. From the moment the study starts, a good leader embraces her responsibility to guide members, which keeps the environment friendly and encouraging. Good leaders value people’s stories – In a Bible study, sticking with the material is great, but letting people have a chance to share how God is at work in their lives is often a powerful teacher as well. When members feel safe to tell their story, it encourages everyone to share more freely. Good leaders appreciate the seasons of life – There will most likely be a colorful mix of ideologies, backgrounds, and seasons of life in a group. Good leaders encourage input from everyone, but also know how to redirect tangents. They possess a spiritual maturity that helps them navigate tricky discussions. They step out and ask people to share what they are learning but can also respect if people are in a season where sharing is uncomfortable. Good leaders balance growth and community – A leader focused only on growth while ignoring the needs of a group to connect with one another can seem heavy-handed. A leader who only fosters a sense of community will have a great social time but will get little accomplished with the study, which can be discouraging for those who come prepared. Strong leaders have goals for the group that are both social and spiritual and seek to have a balance of each within the study time.
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Good leaders listen with empathy – Every person has been through highs and lows in life but some will come to a group with deep suffering or heart-breaking experiences. Even if a leader hasn’t been through this same experience, good leaders cultivate a heart of empathy for others. They share wisdom and encouragement if they can, or they simply listen with a compassionate ear. Good leaders don’t always have to lead – Navigating group conversations can seem like a complicated dance, but practice makes perfect. Good leaders can lead a discussion back to topic but can also patiently wait for a question to be answered. Even silence can benefit a group and give people space to sort out their thoughts. This doesn’t necessarily come built-in to a beginning leader’s skill set, but if he sees the value in it, he can learn to navigate the noise as well as the silence. Good leaders have their identity firmly rooted in Christ – When a leader’s worth or sense of success comes from the people in the group, a leader’s confidence can easily be shaken. What if the discussion falls flat despite the leader’s best efforts? What if members of the group come unprepared? If circumstances such as these are used to gauge whether God is at work, then discouragement is right around the corner. A good Bible study leader teaches each week knowing that the real work is going on behind the spiritual scenes and appreciates the opportunity to be used by God in whatever part of the process He sees fit.
Good leaders are not perfect leaders, but they are usually marked with a few qualities that help foster healthy Bible studies. Be encouraged that the heavy lifting of spiritual growth is first on God’s to-do list, and that frees you to prayerfully watch for those who will help Him in that work.
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What are good questions to ask in a Bible small group?
CONSIDER SHARING AND ASKING FOR PRAYER/ACCOUNTABILITY. » DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING NEW OR SEE SOMETHING IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT THROUGH YOUR STUDY TODAY/THIS WEEK? » WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE REVEAL ABOUT THE CHARACTER OF GOD? » WHAT BIBLICAL TRUTHS WERE REVEALED AND HOW MIGHT THESE LOOK IN ACTION TO- DAY?
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What makes a small group successful?
Small groups can be a vibrant form of Christian community. So how do you create an environment that encourages spiritual growth and personal interaction? How can you help group members understand, explore, and obey the truth of Scripture? Below are 8 keys to a successful small group environment.
- Clarity— Clearly establish the purpose of your time together.
- Being clear as to “why” you meet is just as important as communicating when, where, and for how long you will meet.
- This will foster healthy expectations and help ease any uncertainties.
- Priority— Life is busy, but everyone must value your time with the group and with God’s Word.
Avoid scheduling things that would conflict with your group or cause sporadic attendance—this communicates the value you place on the people in your group. Choose to make being together a priority. Participation— One of the main distinctions between a group and a class is the level of interaction expected from members.
Each person has unique experiences and insights to add to the discussion. No one dominates your time together—not even the leader. This is not a time for lecture. Groups thrive on healthy discussion and participation. Respect— People will express opinions or questions that do not reflect the same opinion or level of understanding that you have.
Being respectful of others encourages participation and leads to trust. Trust— Each person must humbly seek truth through time in prayer and in the Bible. Trust the Word of God to be the objective source of truth. When challenged personally, believe that God loves you and knows what is best for your life.
Humbly obey His Word. Confidentiality— Never gossip. If a serious matter needs to be brought to the attention of trusted individuals, leaders, or professionals outside of the group, communicate your concern and intentions with the person(s) involved. Encourage them to go with you and/or ask for permission to help them seek a healthy resolution to their issue.
Support— Give permission to call on one another at any time, especially in times of crisis. Knowing that people are committed to one another spiritually, emotionally, and practically will deepen relationships, commitment levels, and vulnerability within the group.
- Genuine care in day-to-day needs can open doors to spiritual needs.
- Accountability— Finally, if the clear purpose of your group is to helps everyone understand, explore, and obey the truth of Scripture, then accountability is natural.
- When people share what they feel lead to do in response to what they have learned, agree upon ways they would like to be held accountable.
Out of respect, unsolicited advice should never be given. Questions and personal stories should be encouraged. When people step through your door, they should enter a space where they can laugh, cry, and grow together. What do you need to do so that your group can experience all 8 of these keys to success? Explore the Bible is now available in 6-Session Bible Studies for small groups.
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What is the difference between a small group and a Bible study?
Information vs. Transformation – A Bible study focuses on information, while a discipleship micro-group focuses on transformation. When you think of a traditional Bible study, you think of a teacher walking a group of people through a specific study to inform and equip those taking the study for a specific task or purpose.
- For example, a study on the Armor of God specifically addresses how to arm ourselves as Christians for spiritual warfare.
- Most of the discussion is going to revolve around this topic alone, and a good Bible study teacher or leader will divert any off-topic discussion back to the topic at hand to reach the lesson objective.
While a Bible study can be interactive, often there is a “sit still while I instill” mentality surrounding it. A discipleship micro-group is all about transformation, how are we going to become more like Christ, the One that we are following. The questions that are being asked and the focus is on how we can take the principles and concepts we study and put them into practice and apply them to our daily lives.
Each week the tough questions of “What did you do with the information that we discussed?” “How are you doing?”, and “Where are you struggling?” are asked. While a Bible study can be an important part of a discipleship micro-group, it is only a part of the overall objective of transformation. Most Bible studies are written with a specific time constraint built into them.
Some Bible studies can be 6, 9, or even 12 weeks long. However, a discipleship micro-group is not bound by the same time constraints. The commitment to this type of group is greater than that of a just a Bible study or class. Becoming a fully developing follower of Jesus is a lifelong process.
- We will not fully “arrive” as a disciple until we are with Jesus in Heaven.
- It takes a lot of work and effort to keep our relationship with Jesus vibrant and growing, and we need help and accountability along the way, more help and accountability than we can get in just a 6-week Bible study.
- That’s where a discipleship micro-group comes in.
This type of group is committed to sticking with one another for an indefinite period of time in order to sharpen and strengthen each other, to celebrate when things are going great, and to mourn and weep when things are falling apart. A discipleship micro-group can do multiple Bible studies over the course of their time together, learning and growing through life’s ups and downs.
This doesn’t mean that people won’t come and go from a discipleship micro-group. That is a natural part of the process as people change and go through different seasons of life. People may even leave one group to start their own. But a longer commitment is there to stick with each other for as long as God allows and directs.
When I think of a Bible study class, the traditional, formal classroom comes to mind. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a place for that in today’s culture. Now more than ever the people of God need to be informed and strong in their faith so that they can stand against the lies and attacks from Satan.
- Our culture needs strong voices of truth to stand for the Gospel.
- There is a place for discipleship classes and Bible studies in the church.
- But intimacy and close connection with other believers is just as necessary.
- We need each other.
- We were created for close community and intimacy with others, and discipleship micro-groups provide that type of environment and experience.
When you have 3-4 men or women in your life that you can count on no matter what, people who will pray for you and support you in time of need, you can face just about anything. There is power in community. Ecclesiastes 4:12 emphasizes just how powerful connection among believers is when it states that “a three-fold cord is not easily broken.” A discipleship micro-group provides this strength in believers’ lives and allows for individual names and needs to be known and met.
Institutions are important, but organic is essential. As a classroom teacher, I learned early on that my educational objective had to be met to provide my students with the essential information and knowledge they needed to pass the coming test. My objectives were the priority. I did not have the freedom and flexibility to walk into my classroom and proceed in an organic way letting my students decide what they needed for that hour or class period.
The organic relationship was left to after class, on the playground, or before or after school. A Bible study or class can fall into this same trap of objective over organic. A discipleship micro-group provides a more organic environment for relationships to grow and flourish.
- It allows for space and time for the participants to speak freely and express what is on their mind and hearts.
- Often when there is a serious need or issue with someone in the group, Bible study may become secondary to the spiritual help and care that needs to be given to someone at that moment.
- Life is difficult and messy.
A discipleship micro-group allows for an environment of safety and healing for those within the group. Teaching or attending a Bible study is an important part of our spiritual growth, and it is one part of the discipleship process. Imparting Biblical knowledge is necessary in a time and culture where truth is eroding.
However, true discipleship happens in a small group of committed followers of Jesus Christ who are on the same journey of becoming more like Christ over the course of their life. Jesus had his group of men that He poured into and that He loved and trusted. We need our group of men and women that we can pour into, love and trust.
While they are distinctly different in scope and purpose, Bible studies and discipleship micro-groups are both a part of the discipleship process.
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What is the biblical model of small groups?
Defining a small group is a difficult task. Over the last 20 or so years, variations on the theme have become norm. The information in this article unveils the basics of a biblically-driven small group – those things that should be consistent in any group type.
A simple definition of a small group is: “A micro-community of 3 to 12 Jesus followers doing the Christian life deeply together.” If honesty and vulnerability are necessary for spiritual growth, group dynamics would tell us that the levels of transparency that make this possible won’t happen if the group is made up of more than 12 or less than 3 individuals.
“Doing the Christian life deeply together” can be seen in the practices of some of the first believers, following Pentecost, as outlined in Acts 2:42-47. Included in this list are: 1) devotion to living out what they learned from studying God’s Word together (“the apostles’ teaching); 2) devotion to doing life together (“fellowship” or koinonia); 3) eating together and/or partaking of the Lord’s Supper together (“the breaking of bread”); 4) wholehearted, faith-centered prayer that brought about the miracles seen throughout the book of Acts; and 5) meeting one another’s needs even when it meant giving up something substantial of their own: “Now all the believers were together and held all things in common.
- They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need” (Acts 2:44-45).
- Small groups, unlike straightforward Bible studies, make disciples through the utilization of and processing of God’s story as it intersects with our stories.
- When an individual joins a micro-community of believers, that person involves herself/himself in the gaining and processing of biblical knowledge in community and utilizes Scripture to get to know a complex God and to understand life in relationship with Him.
This is what I call “experiential discipleship.” Examples of experiential discipleship in action include experiencing a “dark night of the soul” season and processing that time of life through the lens of Scripture with a group of fellow journeyers; dealing with the heartbreak of a broken relationship and processing with others the pain in light of God’s Word as it speaks to grief, loss, and ultimate victory; or facing failure and working through it as group members share their stories and together you look at examples from Scripture.
- But experiential discipleship isn’t just about darkness, missteps, and failure.
- Small groups encourage one another, celebrate life’s accomplishments together, observe traditions together, and rejoice together when God answers their prayers.
- A biblical small group knows and does 1 Corinthians 12:26, “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” For high levels of connection and vulnerability to take place it’s important that larger “small” groups either purposefully or organically form groups within the group.
Sub-grouping (think: breaking groups of 12 into multiple groups of 3) will enhance the levels of intimacy and vulnerability. The smaller the group the more open the conversation. Some groups, especially multi-gender groups, might send men to one room and women to another room at some point during the meeting for accountability and/or prayer.
For many groups, sub-group formation happens naturally among people whose chemistry sparks a relationship. Often those people will gather together separate from the meeting times. I can’t help but think how this mimic’s Jesus’ model. He had His 12, and He had His 3. The roles and activities of small groups tend to fall into four quadrants: theological, relational, restorational, and missional.
Here’s how that breaks down.
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How often should small groups meet?
4. Decide how many times to see each group – Find your total number of small group slots for the week. If you’re meeting every day, here’s the breakdown:
3 rotations/day = 15 slots4 rotations/day = 20 slots5 rotations/day = 25 slots
Divide the number of slots between your groups based on need. Remember, you should meet most often with your lowest group. I recommend meeting with groups significantly below grade level every day, if possible. Meet with your above level groups at least three times per week. Here’s an example of how it could work if you are seeing 3 groups per day with 4 total groups:
Significantly Below Level: 5 days/weekBelow Level: 4 days/weekOn Level: 3 days/weekAbove Level: 3 days/week
What are the duties of a Bible study leader?
To enable each group to have a beneficial and complete discussion of the material each week. To encourage each woman to participate as she is able. To create a safe environment for group members to share. To redirect groups if discussion gets off-track or does not echo biblical truths and principles.
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Who should lead a Bible study?
The 3 Reasons You Aren’t Leading A Bible Study (and why you should lead one anyway) Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.” Since high school, I have been participating in and leading Small Group Bible Studies as a way of growing closer to the Lord, and helping others to encounter Him.
- I understand it is intimidating and there are many good reasons for not leading a Bible Study, but I want you to lead one anyway.
- It will be worth it.
- Here are the top 3 reasons that I hear whenever I give the invitation to step out and lead.
- 1) I don’t know enough about the Bible to lead a Bible Study, and someone might ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to.
Of all the excuses – I mean reasons – people give for not leading a Bible Study, this is the one I hear most often. Odds are, you may think leading a Bible Study requires a lot of knowledge and training, and perhaps a special skill set that you don’t have.
- But in truth, you don’t need to have all the answers about the Bible to lead a great Bible Study.
- A great Bible Study Leader is someone that loves the Lord and can ask interesting questions about a short passage of Scripture.
- A Bible Study leader’s job is not to be a teacher, but a facilitator of conversation.
If you’ve spent even a little bit of time with the Bible, you know that God has used people even less equipped than you are for His glory! Now let’s talk through that dreaded scenario: you’re leading a Bible Study on Adam and Eve and suddenly Johnny asks, “If God didn’t want them to eat from the tree, why did He create the tree anyway?” You’ve never heard that question before and you know you don’t have an answer.
But I’m the leader, you think to yourself, I’m going to seem like a terrible leader if I can’t answer this question. Actually, you’re not a terrible leader if you can’t answer a question; you’re a great leader because you can admit that you don’t know the answer. You’re going to say, “Gosh, that’s a great question and I actually don’t know the answer.
Would you mind if I do some research and get back to you?” Then later that week you’re going to actually do the research and give Johnny a call and say, “Hey Johnny, I did some research on that question you asked during Bible Study. Would you like to get together sometime this week to talk about it?” Look what you’ve done! You’ve won Johnny’s trust by being humble enough to admit what you don’t know, you’ve won Johnny’s respect by making a commitment and sticking to it, and you’ve won the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with Johnny about the Scriptures.
You’ve won–or better yet, you’ve let the Holy Spirit win through you–all because you chose to lead a Bible Study, even though you didn’t know everything there is to know about the Bible.2) I don’t have time. Neither do most people who do great things for the Lord. And yes, leading a Bible Study, even if there are only a handful of people that attend, IS a great thing for the Lord.
None of us ever has time to give to the Lord if by “having time” we mean “I can do this without having to change something about my current situation.” It’s true, I really don’t have time to lead a Bible Study if I also want to keep getting up at the same time, watching the same amount of TV, and spending the weekend the way that I currently do.
- You don’t have time to give.
- You have to make it.
- There’s an old saying: “You can’t out-give God.” This applies to time just as much as money.
- There have been many times in my own life that I have been absolutely convinced that I didn’t have the time to do the things that God wanted me to do.
- Sometimes I made the wrong decision and didn’t give the time to God.
Other times I said the prayer, “Lord, I don’t have the time to give so if I give it to you, you have to give it back to me somehow” and then I made the sacrifice God asked me to make. You will not regret being generous with the Lord. I have never once regretted making the decision to give time to God.
- 3) I don’t feel called.
- I’m surprised how often I encounter this phrase as a way of shutting down an invitation to do something heroic for the Kingdom. I’m going to let you in on a secret that most Christians don’t seem to know:
- God rarely calls us purely through our feelings.
In fact, too much attention to our feelings is very often our biggest obstacle in hearing the voice of God. I’m not saying that God doesn’t work through our feelings. He does. But if our feelings are the first place we go to find out if God is calling us to something, it won’t be God’s desires but ours that will be the final word in what we choose.
- Instead of beginning with the question “Do I feel called?” try asking these questions first:
- “Do I really believe that I am loved by God unconditionally and do my decisions reflect that?”
- “Am I currently using the good things I have from God for His glory?”
- “Do I have the ability to learn how to be a good facilitator of conversation about Scripture?”
- “What are the areas of comfort that I would have a hard time letting go of, even if God asked me to?”
- “If Jesus was sitting right here and asked me to sacrifice something, what would it be?”
- “Have others suggested to me or told me that I would be a good Bible Study leader?”
- “If I do not think God wants me to lead a Bible Study, how does God want me to serve Him?”
This last question is super important! Maybe you aren’t called to lead a Bible Study. Maybe your life circumstances (perhaps the hours you have to work, the needs of your family, your unique set of talents) really do prohibit you from being able to lead a Bible Study.
But God is still calling you to serve Him somehow. I beg you to invite Him to use you, whether in leading a Bible Study or in some other way. But beware”Lord, use me” is one of the most dangerous prayers we can pray because God will always answer it, and He will almost always draw you out beyond your comfort zone to do it! Whether or not the Lord is calling you to lead a Bible Study, I hope you will at least take it to prayer and do not let fear make the decision for you.
There are great (free!) resources for learning how to lead a Bible Study. Check out for lots of resources on leading a Bible Study. : The 3 Reasons You Aren’t Leading A Bible Study (and why you should lead one anyway)
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What is the acronym for pray?
PRAY Prayer Method – The PRAY prayer method is another great option for those who are new to structured prayer. Once again, the acronym PRAY stands for Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. Praise is all about giving God thanks for who They are and what They have done.
- This basically combines “Honor God” and “Thank God” from the HEART prayer method.
- Repentance is about turning away from our sin and asking God to help us live holy lives.
- This step is necessary because we can’t come before God with a clean heart if we’re still clinging to our sin.
- Ask is about asking God for help.
We can ask Them for anything, big or small, and They will graciously answer us, even if the answer isn’t what we expect. Yield is about giving God control of our lives and surrendering our plans to Their perfect will. Yielding is a hard step, but it’s an important one if we want to truly follow God.
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What are the seven pillars of effective Bible study?
Amazon.com: Wisdom’s Seven Pillars: 9781630502782: Sari, Nancy: Libros Wisdom’s Seven Pillars is a women’s Bible study by Author Nancy Sari that teaches the seven pillars that uphold wisdom’s house found in Proverbs 9:1. Wisdom’s seven pillars, according to scripture, are: fear of the Lord, instruction, knowledge, understanding, discretion, counsel, and reproof.
Beginning with fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom and continuing with knowledge of the Holy One being understanding, the author weaves scripture truths and Bible stories with real-life examples for each of wisdom’s pillars, which helps participants deeply discern what is included in each of the pillars.
Some Bible stories included are Queen Esther, Nabal and Abigail, Apostle Paul’s reproof of the churches at Corinth and Pergamos, and more. The result is that readers and Bible study participants takeaway a deeper knowledge and understanding of our Lord and grow in His wisdom.
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What is a good lesson to teach for Bible study?
Some of the best include learning about God’s creation, the Bible’s history, and the importance of prayer. Teaching Bible lessons to children can help them learn about God and His teachings, and can help them grow in their faith.
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How do you welcome new members in a Bible study group?
Ask Questions. – Make your new members feel more welcome by asking good questions. Ask them about their week, about family, about hobbies, or anything else you can think of. The goal is to make them feel like you want to get to know them and be a part of their lives.
Open-ended questions are also great for when you want to promote a group discussion and get more out of your members that just a “yes” or “no”. In a previous post, I wrote more in-depth on the different types of questions to ask your group and how to handle difficult members. Check it out ! “In the group discussion, the pinball is who is talking.
Your role is to be the flipper.” By Vince Antonucci
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What are the goals of a Bible study group?
Bible Study Vision and Goals (Mobile)
GOAL To understand the vision and goals for leading a FOCUS Bible study. Optional Lectio Before we get started, take some time to pray over a Scripture passage about God’s word.• First, read Psalm 1:1–6.• Second, reflect on the words that caught your attention.• Third, pray from your heart and respond to what Jesus is saying to you.• Fourth, rest in what God has told you and in His presence. Discussion Questions ( These are sample questions; feel free to develop your own.)
1. What jumped out at you as your read Psalm 1:1 – 6? 2. What are the effects on the man who meditates on the law (God’s word) day and night? 3. How can we become like this man? How do we help others be like this man? Vision for Leading Small-Group Studies Imagine you want to reach as many people with the faith as possible.
- Would you make small-group Bible studies part of this new outreach program? Why or why not? It’s an important question to ponder.
- Often you don’t realize the importance of something until you imagine not having it at all.
- There are many reasons why small-group studies are important.
- Jesus Himself kept a small group of men around Him during His ministry.
Though He had many disciples, Jesus specifically chose these twelve to entrust with His teachings. Psychologists and researchers have observed that there is distinct change in the nature of communication based upon a group’s size. Within larger groups, people tend to broadcast their views, with louder and more opinionated people tending to dominate the conversation.
- However, within small groups of ten or less, people tend to engage in face-to-face conversations.
- They feel more comfortable expressing their viewpoints and engaging in dialogue.
- Small groups allow relationships to grow through direct contact and personal interaction.
- Ultimately, it is through relationships that real, life-changing events can happen.
In the company of friends, people are much more likely to open up and share what is going on in their lives — difficult situations, struggles with sin, life victories, spiritual realizations, etc. Friends feel more comfortable challenging one another and keeping each other accountable to the goals they set out to accomplish.
In essence, we share our lives through relationships, and this sharing provides the support we need to become better Christians who can change the world. So, now that you understand the reasons why you should lead a Bible study, it’s important to know what you are trying to accomplish within your small group.
The three goals below can give you a reference point if someone raises the question, “How is your study going?” The Three Goals of a Bible Study Lots of things can be accomplished within a small group — but as the leader, concentrate on three specific goals: divine intimacy, authentic friendship and spiritual multiplication.
Divine Intimacy : Through interaction with God’s word and one another, the lives of our Bible study members can be profoundly conformed to Jesus Christ. The purpose of a Bible study is not simply to learn information or be part of a club, but to allow the Lord to transform our lives. We want participants, through the Scriptures, to be drawn more intimately to our Lord not only in the study, but also in the sacraments and liturgy of the Church where they can most fully receive the gift of God’s grace in their lives.
Authentic Friendship : In and outside of formal Bible study, it is important to share life with your participants through virtuous friendships, meeting them where they are and making ourselves fully available to their needs so that we may encounter them on a deeper level.
- If people are going to be deeply transformed, they will need others along the way — not only to help their transformation now, but to make sure they continue this transformation in the future.
- Your goal as a leader is to take a group of people with various backgrounds and personalities and help them form authentic relationships with one another.
Spiritual Multiplication : This is the method of “win, build, and send” by which we imitate Jesus, who invested in a few and commissioned them to do the same. Bible study plays a key role in spiritual multiplication as it allows you to raise up members of your small group to become leaders and eventually spiritual multipliers.
Remember, you aren’t just leading a Bible study for the sake of a Bible study; the goal is to make disciples who will teach others also. Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a Scripture scholar or have an electric personality to be an effective leader. Anyone who is following Jesus in divine intimacy, who is willing to build authentic friendships and who is committed to the method of spiritual multiplication can be effective.
While it may not be easy, if you are committed to these goals and are willing to grow, you can have a successful study. Conclusion Knowing the vision and goals for your Bible study is important both for developing it in the beginning and for checking in as you go along.
Return to these concepts as you evaluate what the Lord is asking you to do with your group. Discussion Questions ( These are sample questions; feel free to develop your own.) 1. Has a small group (a Bible study, close group of friends, tightknit sports team, etc.) changed your life? If so, how? In particular, how have others modeled the three goals for you in the context of a Bible study? 2.
What are some ways to ensure that Bible study members continue to experience divine intimacy? 3. What can a leader do to encourage authentic friendship in a Bible study? 4. How does your goal of spiritual multiplication within your Bible study change the way you lead? : Bible Study Vision and Goals (Mobile)
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What does the Bible say about leading groups?
Acts 2:42-47 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers. Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common.
They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 unearths the expectations of every community of believers. Memorizing this passage plants deeply into the heart of every group leader what they are to lead their group to do and to be.
Hebrews 10:24–25 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24–25 is a constant reminder that a group leader is to promote “love and good works” through their group, to meet consistently, and to be an encouragement to one another.2 Timothy 2:2 And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 is a convicting reminder that the goal of every group should be to multiply so that others can grow to maturity by being in a biblical small group.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic.
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What is the role of a Bible study coordinator?
Under the direction of the Pastor, the Bible Study Coordinator coordinates a Parish based Scripture study that leads people to a greater understanding of the Bible, an awareness of God’s living presence in Sacred Scripture, and an appreciation of how the Bible can be applied to daily life.
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