Tips on leading or participating in a Bible Study
Here are some tips on how to start and lead or participate in a Bible study. There are several things you may want to consider before you begin. The following bulleted items are Bible study questions you may have followed by some useful tips and ideas. The type of Bible study you create is entirely up to you and your fellow members.
• How should leadership be set up? There are many possibilities in this area. Decide as a group what would work best for you. You can have one leader, or a few. You can assign a new leader each week. You can even have no leader at all and see where study takes you.
• How many members should we have? You may find that smaller groups allow for more intimacy, and more open discourse. The atmosphere becomes more personal. In this type of atmosphere the opportunity arises for each individual to voice his or her opinions. What you consider a “small group” can vary anywhere from 2 to 10 or even 15 people. Membership size will determine the space in which you meet, so a small group is ideal if you would like to meet somewhere like someone’s living room at home.
• What pace should we set? Some people are capable of a daily schedule of personal examination and prayer, others prefer doing a large amount at once. Neither way is right or wrong, it simply is a matter of personal capability and what works the best for the individual and the group. Each of us as a member of a Bible study group must adapt according to our needs and capabilities. You can discuss your individual preferences and schedule as a group, to make others aware of how you best study and learn. Remember that it’s okay if you can’t make it to every single meeting.
• Should we assign “homework”? Decide as a group whether you’d like to study further outside of group, or whether you would like to only read and study together. It may depend on others’ schedules. Both ways can be rewarding, and are entirely up to you and your group.
• What about confidentiality? Confidentiality is a guideline familiar to millions of people who are veterans of small group study. Covenant together that what is said in the room stays in the room. Even your spouse doesn’t need to hear what someone else reveals. This is a key point in Bible study participation.
Additional considerations: No matter what your purpose for joining, come to group with an open mind and heart. Bible study doesn’t need to be only for Christians. This may not be something you have even considered, but think about that possibility. Anyone can study the Bible and gain something from it, whether it is spiritual or intellectual. As someone thinking about being in a Bible study, or considering being a leader, the choice is yours as to what type of study you prefer. You may prefer a study of only Christians, or you may consider extending membership out further. It’s up to you what kind of Bible study you want to participate in. Both kinds can be rewarding as long as everyone comes to the table with an open mind.
Consider comparing different versions of the Bible. Besides just being interesting, it can provide members with a new and more encompassing view of each passage. Perhaps each member can provide a different version of the Bible for comparison.
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