Sermon based Bible studies seem to be on everyone’s mind. How do most churches make these happen? They find a staff member or a few people who will listen to the sermon then write a few questions based on the sermon for small groups to discuss. There are some pros and some cons to this practice.
- People who might not be engaged in another ministry area are psyched about being on the writing team.
- The “gaining Bible knowledge” part of the small group experience is already taken care of as the senior pastor has already unearthed what the Bible says.
- The senior pastor is extremely pleased that, while most people hear the weekend sermon and forget it quickly, group members are reminded of and are in discussions about what was unveiled during the weekend worship experience.
- Those who didn’t attend the weekend worship service can’t be deeply engaged in the small group experience because, in most instances, the group is discussing the pastor’s sermon points or clichés from the sermon and, because they missed worship last weekend they’re hesitant to join in the conversation.
- Group members don’t learn how to process Scripture. People learn to process Scripture when doing their private Bible study by engaging in the processing of Scripture while seeing others do so during the group meeting. Since the pastor has already taken care of this, many people aren’t engaging with Scripture on a personal and daily, ongoing basis.
- The group discusses the pastor’s sermon points or the pastor’s clichés rather than discussing what the written Word of God says. And there is no replacement for reading and discussing the revelation from God found in Scripture.
So… How can we be certain that our sermon based Bible studies are transformational? Create a Bible study that correlates with the pastor’s sermon instead of creating a conversation that is built on the pastor’s sermon. The first option starts with the Bible, the second with the sermon.
The complex aspect of this is that, in almost every instance, the average church doesn’t have a team of people capable of writing a biblically-based Bible study.
I would suggest you consider checking out smallgroup.com. Smallgroup.com is a subscription-based service through which anyone can create a true Bible study in a matter of minutes, make any changes to it they would like, and then email it to every group leader in your church. The person creating these studies can do an entire series all at one time or create just one study.
You can see how smallgroup.com works by going to the first link below. You can try it free for two weeks by clicking on the second link.