Group discussion represents one way of taking God’s Word off the page and working it into people’s real lives. Another way is through personal reflection. If you can come up with creative ways to get the members of your group thinking about the Scriptures in the hours and days between your meetings, you will see deep and lasting change in their lives. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
- Look for teachable moments. Be mindful of ways to insert Scripture into real-life situations. Keep an eye on the news and think about how the Scriptures you’re studying apply to what’s going on in the world. Also, make time for prayer requests in your meetings. You’ll learn about the struggles and victories in each person’s life, and you can encourage and counsel them with God’s Word.
- Don’t be afraid of assigning homework. It’s true, some people won’t do the homework, but on the other hand, some people will. Provide handouts to go with each Bible study lesson. Include reflection questions, Scripture references, and resources for further study. If you don’t like the idea of a homework handout, come up with a different kind of assignment. You could have your group memorize key Scriptures, commit to a ministry within your church, or work together on a community service project. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
- Communicate frequently. People connect now like never before. We text message, we e-mail, we post to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter . . . sometimes we even talk on the phone. Why not redeem all this technology and use it for deeper connection and spiritual growth? If you’re not tech savvy, there’s probably someone in your group who could set up a system for communication between meetings, perhaps a Facebook group page. You can send encouraging messages, reinforce ideas discussed in the last meeting, recruit friends to join your group, promote upcoming events, or just show that you care. It’s easy and well worth your time.
Why do you think people tend to separate the things that happen in church from the things that happen in the real world?
Read Psalm 119:97-105. What are the benefits of meditating on God’s Word “all day long”?
What are some creative ways you can encourage your group to think about the Scriptures between meetings?
When it comes to summing up the role of a Bible study leader, I look to one of my favorite teachers: the Apostle Paul. The Corinthians are arguing among themselves about whether Apollos or Paul is the greater teacher, and Paul steps in to set them straight. “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?” he asks (1 Corinthians 3:5). We might ask ourselves the same question: “Just who is a Bible study leader, really?”
Read 1 Corinthians 3:5-9.
As a Bible study leader, you are God’s servant. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). But remember, it is God who brings the increase, God who makes the seeds grow, and He produces a harvest. Be faithful to do your part, and rest assured—He will faithfully do His.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®.
“Leading a Bible Study, part two” is published by National Women’s Ministries, www.women.ag.org, ©2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.