A friend on my local launch team for Little Faith, Big God asked me, “What do you want to happen at the launch—sell books?”
“What I really want is for people to read the book and have their relationship with the Lord enriched. I don’t want people to buy a book to put on their shelf. I want them to connect with God and be transformed,” I replied.
That made me think of our Thursday morning Jesus Girls. We’ve been meeting for five years. Each week I love listening to them share their love for the Lord and each other. We cheer for, pray for, and serve one another. Everyone is free to ask their questions and express their confusion. We wrestle through the tough topics of life and Scripture. We laugh and we cry together.
However, I know not all groups are like that. So, I asked my group what they think makes a Bible study work well. If you’re looking for a group or leading a group, use these summarized thoughts to find a group or make your Bible study great.
Fulfills My Need for Fellowship and Learning
Being in a small group of women to study the Bible has:
1. fulfilled the need to be with other believers in Christ.
2. provided the opportunity to learn from others. Whether they are more mature in their faith or not, I learn so much.
3. been a safe environment to ask hard questions.
4. the big bonus is having a “director” who knows so much more about scripture than I do. By myself, I would not go near as deep or get near as much out of it.
Biblically Accurate Teaching with Active Participation from Those Who Do the Lessons
- I prefer an all ladies group, although I have enjoyed coed groups.
- Biblically accurate teaching.
- Safe place, where what is said there stays there.
- The members care about and encourage each other.
- People in the group prepare beforehand. Although there are times a person cannot prepare, for the most part, people come ready to share.
- The members are seeking to know God better and apply what they learn.
- The ages of ladies and number of years as a Christian are not important. The attitudes and desire to know God and live a Godly life matter.
- People feel welcome in the group.
Provides Support and a Safe Place to Share
- Being in a group study helps me to be accountable to finish the lesson.
- It’s encouraging to hear & learn from others; witnessing how God is working in others’ lives builds faith!
- A good group is one that the presence and love of the Holy Spirit is felt, everyone is welcoming, no cliques and is a safe place to share openly without feeling judged; others show sympathy/empathy and offer encouragement, support and friendship
- What’s ruined a group experience is people dominating the conversation, cutting people off while sharing, awkward silences after someone has shared without any encouragement, and cliques within the group.
~ JaniceIn a good group the presence and love of the Holy Spirit is felt, everyone is welcoming, no cliques and a safe place to share openly without feeling judged. #BibleStudy Click To Tweet
The Difference Between Knowing God and Knowing Him Deeply
Before Bible study, I knew God was with me. But, when I’d open the Bible and expect to find verses to support me, it was not easy to see how God was talking to me.
Now—During Bible Study—caring, loving, supporting women and compassionate, knowledgeable teachings fill me. I leave our Bible study filled with happy tears and thanking God for that time together and for all the enlightenment that fills me about our Savior, my Best Friend, Jesus!
Now, I know our loving God through our Savior Jesus much more deeply and personally. I can easily relate to Him all through my days and wakeful nights, giving thanks, asking for help. Knowing God more deeply affects my life, my thoughts, and who I am! I experience greater peace and trust.
I appreciate the easy flow that comes from each of us to share how God has helped us. Consideration of one another is paramount to that easy flow. If one person takes up too much time, it interrupts the flow that is generated by the group and the leader.
Diversity that Deepens Understanding
I love seeing the ways Jesus is speaking intimately to each of us individually. It deepens my understanding of Him when I see the many ways He works across so many different lives. The diversity in our group is so incredible, and the more people feel comfortable to share, the more we all grow.
Good leadership means everything to me. Leading that is not preachy yet is provocative enough to leave room for reflection and deeper understanding.
A good leader helps make a good group. One who keeps track of time and gently pulls people back in when they go down rabbit holes, yet never makes someone feel bad when they do. One who instead thanks me for sharing, all the while gently guiding the conversation back.
If you’d like to consider joining or leading discussion group of Little Faith, Big God, please contact me. I’d love to support and help you if I can.
Sometimes I link with these great sites: