While it may seem trite, choosing a Bible Study is one of the most important things a group leader does. When a group leader chooses the right study at the right time for the right group of people, life’s questions are answered and embraced, people are given the information they need to defend their faith, the Gospel becomes known and integrated into everyday life, and/or people choose to follow Christ.
A few essential questions to consider when choosing your next study are noted below.
- Is the group made up mostly of Christ followers or people who are inquisitive about Jesus and Christianity? If the group is mostly inquisitive not yet followers of Christ choose a study that is focused on the Gospel, Jesus, and what sets Christianity apart from all other belief systems.
- Is the group made up of individuals who are Christ followers who have never been taught to feed themselves? Many groups are made up of believers who have never been discipled. The group meeting is their only interaction with God’s Word weekly other than the sermon preached at the weekend worship service and the only time they pray passionately is at group meetings. This is most likely because they have never been taught to study the Bible on their own or how to pray. If this is the case, choose a study on how to study the Bible or how to pray. These are necessary practices of those who grow toward Christ likeness.
- Is there an issue that has come up again and again during the last study? For instance, if during your last study couples in the group spoke multiple times of marital issues, choose a study on biblical marriage. Or, if the last six weeks group members have mentioned the need to learn how to pray, choose a study through which they can learn to pray. Bottom line… Listen intently and you may easily realize what your next study should give attention to.
- Is the group a gender based group? If the group is a women only group, choose a study that is focused primarily on women’s issues or studies that are led by women who are gifted in Bible teaching. Bible studies by Beth Moore or Priscilla Shirer are great options. If the group is a men only group, choose a study that is focused on issues men are concerned about.
- What is the level of Bible knowledge in the group you lead? Biblical illiteracy is an epidemic. It’s essential that your group begin to study the Bible in context by studying books of the Bible. If you realize that your group isn’t biblically knowledgeable you will do them a great favor by choosing a study that focuses on a book of the Bible. LifeWay has a tremendous series of studies of this type titled Explore the Bible.