In your church, the head of the prayer group has chosen you to lead the next bible study and you have just a little idea on how to carry out this task. You have also gone for several prayer group sessions but they were not good enough to inspire you. You are in luck because, in this article, we would be looking at How to Lead a Bible Study with a Group.
Leading a group generally could be very frustrating. You would like to see everyone engage actively as you are expected to play the role of a leader and a facilitator. But sometimes, group members can get out of hand by breaking the rules of the group. Before we begin fully on how to lead a bible study with a group, we need to break down what a bible study group is about.
What is a Bible Study Group?
According to Lifeway, a bible study group is a small group of individuals in faith, who comes together and provide a safer and non-threatening environment to study God’s word and also create a genuine connection amongst themselves. The goal of a bible study group is to provide quality and purposeful Bible study group experiences that stem from a strong desire to see them succeed.
You must understand that a bible study group is different from a sermon or lecture. This is because, in sermons or lectures, the speaker carries out the whole presentation, cooks what he wants to present, and carries it out in an actual public setting. In sermons or lectures, there is hardly any opportunity for questions and answers from the listeners.
Meanwhile, in Bible study groups, it is more than just the leader giving his presentation. The listeners are expected to come prepared with their questions and contributions. The group encourages everyone to engage in the discussion. This method of discussion works even better because of the small setting.
When you are assigned to lead a bible study group, your objective is to facilitate the group discussion and ensure quality interaction between the members of the group. Rather than merely imparting all of your information, assist them in digging deeper into the Scriptures.
During this event, you would be tempted to lead every activity and presentation and this must be avoided by all means. Kindly have it at the back of your mind that the bible study group is not a sermon or lecture. The bible study group requires all hands on deck.
Now, I hope we are all clear on what a bible study group is about. We can now look at how to lead a bible study with a Group.
How to Lead a Bible Study with a Group
You have been assigned to lead the bible study with a group because of your knowledge about the bible and you are clueless on how to go about it. Worry no more as we would provide you with a guide on what to do and how to do it.
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After you have been assigned to lead a bible study group, the first thing you should put into consideration is the preparation. You might believe because it is just a small group, there is no need for preparation. But that is false, because if you fail to prepare, then you are preparing to fail.
To have a successful bible study with a group, you have to prepare completely. This includes using a comprehensive bible study material or guide. Before the bible study commences, as the leader, you have to thoroughly go through it, to capture interesting ideas on what the discussion of the day would be.
When you get the important ideas from the material, you can now initiate the discussion from there. There would always be a challenge on side contributions. Sometimes, the side contributions would take the group away from the key point of discussion. As the bible study group leader, you are in a position to bring the attention of the group members back to the key point of discussion.
Prayer is a very important point to put into consideration, especially for we believers. As the scripture rightly says “Prayer is the key”. You are to pray before, during, and after the bible study. As the leader, you are to pray before the study commences. Especially for the members before arrival. You are also to pray for those who would be joining the group for the first time.
During the bible study, you are to initiate short prayers amongst yourselves. At the end of the whole study, you are to hold a joint prayer and share the grace. One advantage of Bible study with a group is the opportunity it gives for fellowship in prayer and better relationships among each other.
Another point you should put into consideration is the participation level. When you deal with groups, your objective automatically involves active participation among members. This would ensure that everyone is being carried along and no one is left behind.
You can decide to look up questions from the materials and throw them into the group. This would encourage everyone to participate by interacting with each other. For example, you can throw in basic questions such as: Does anyone have anything to say contrary to what has been discussed? Is there any point we haven’t highlighted here? Can anyone remind us where this particular point can be found in the bible?
Indeed, active participation is very important in groups, but it has to be controlled. For instance, in every group discussion, some people find it difficult to contribute and some people always have something to say. As a leader, you should always be observant of every member and be able to notice the shy ones that have something to say but are too shy to say it.
You should be mindful of people who always have something to say. It can get boring when the same person is always up to give a contribution. At the end of the group bible study, you can call the person aside, encourage him for contributing but kindly remind him of the negative side of always talking and overshadowing others.
Stick to time
This is a very crucial point to consider when leading a bible study with a group. Try to manage your time properly as every member of the group has something he or she wants to do after the study. After treating every point of the discussion, you can draw out a quick summary of the whole study.
Always try to work with time because people dislike time-wasting, as they might have other important things to do. You can avoid this by starting the study on time and making sure the study ends at the exact time it should last. If you couldn’t complete the discussion, there’s always space for next time.
Keep in mind, however, that most Bible study guides are designed in such a way that one lesson or chapter can be treated per study session. You have to be careful of how you divert from the topic to avoid stretching the time. We have been able to at the guides on how to lead a Bible Study with a Group. Now, Let’s look at the mistakes you should avoid when leading the bible study with a group.
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Possible Mistakes to Avoid when leading a Bible Study with a Group.
It is no lie, that leading a bible study group is difficult. Especially when the members are not responding to the group rules. There are possible mistakes you have to avoid when leading a Bible Study with a Group. They include:
Preaching is a mistake most bible study group leaders make. Since you are not giving a sermon, you are to lead your group, facilitate the group discussion and ensure everyone is following, rather than just be the only one carrying out every discussion in the group.
If at the end of the bible study, you evaluate yourself and agree that you spoke more than others, then you did not do well as the leader.
You should also have in mind that you are not lecturing, as the bible study group is not a classroom. You are to lead the group in a discussion of Christ and not about new knowledge of politics, science, and technology.
Always learn to manage your time. There are cases where you would be trying to round up a particular chapter of the material, only to end up rushing the process and not achieving anything at the end of the discussion.
At the end of this article, we have been able to cover some core topics under the bible study groups. We were also able to look at the guides on how to lead a bible study with a group. In conclusion, leading a bible study with a group could be very interesting and satisfying. I hope this article was able to answer your questions and encourage you to carry out your assignment. Goodluck.
Should a Bible study group leader Preach?
No, Preaching is a mistake most bible study group leaders make. Since you are not giving a sermon, you are to lead your group, facilitate the group discussion and ensure everyone is following, rather than just be the only one carrying out every discussion in the group.
Should everyone in the Bible study group engage in the discussion?
Yes, when you deal with groups, your objective automatically involves active participation among members. This would ensure that everyone is being carried along and no one is left behind.
What is the goal of a Bible study group?
The goal of a bible study group is to provide quality and purposeful Bible study group experiences that stem from a strong desire to see them succeed.