Hosting a Bible study is an incredibly rewarding experience. On the one hand, it helps Christians to develop close relationships with each other. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Although one can be defeated, two can defend themselves. A three-stranded rope does not break quickly. Friendships serve as protection and lead to fruitfulness.
When you come together to study the scriptures, the Holy Spirit will also teach you more about who God is and how he sees you. You don’t need to know everything to conduct a Bible study and you don’t need to have your life together. If God calls you to organize a study, he will equip you with everything you need. Here are six tips that can help you get started.
1. Bend down in prayer
Before diving into planning, start by asking God for wisdom. You will need to make many decisions for this Bible study to take place, including who to invite, where to meet, and what to study. The prayer is a reminder that the success of this endeavor does not rest on your abilities but on the strength of God.
Don’t just pray before making these decisions. Pray throughout the planning process, during study meetings, and after each meeting. Ask for God’s will in your group and trust Him with the end result of your study.
2. Define your goals
Choosing specific goals for your group is one of the things you can pray for. Goals will keep you focused during meetings and help you determine study success. An example of a goal might be, “I want this Bible study to deepen friendships.
During your first meeting, you can share your goals with the group. Then it’s a good idea to ask each person why they came. This will help everyone be on the same page so you can achieve your goals together.
3. Be a leader
The sooner you start acting as a leader, the better your Bible study meetings will go. Leaders coordinate, encourage and set the boundaries for success. You can start being a leader by sending out invitations early and then checking in with people to see who’s coming.
It’s also a good idea to create a loose schedule for your meeting. As a leader, your role is to facilitate the conversation rather than dominate it. You can keep everyone on track and focused on the material while ensuring everyone gets a turn to speak and time to think.
4. Create a comfortable space
You can hold a Bible study at home even if your house is not perfectly clean. No one else is either! The most important thing about hosting in your home is that you create a comfortable space where everyone feels comfortable – starting with yourself.
Some Bible studies eat together before you start, but that’s up to you. If you decide to include food, be sure to check with members for any allergies. It’s also a good idea to improve indoor air quality before you invite someone over. Remember that many people are allergic to scented candles and perfumes.
5. Ask for help
There is no rule that says you have to lead a Bible study on your own. In fact, letting other people walk you through the process can be a huge blessing for them. If you want a partner to help you lead, pray about it and ask someone to join you.
You can also ask for help with food or other resources for each meeting. Create a sign-up sheet or ask a friend who likes to cook if they would bring the food. If your home isn’t suitable for meetings, you may be able to meet at someone else’s house – all you have to do is ask.
6. Embrace the discomfort
If you’ve never led a Bible study before, you’ll probably feel uncomfortable in your first few meetings. However, it can help to remember that everyone is a little nervous when faced with new situations. As you overcome the discomfort, you will grow in ways you never imagined.
There are also several strategies you can adopt to calm your nerves. For example, if you’re worried about awkward silences, try putting on some background music. You can also split up the reading and ask questions so you don’t feel like you’re talking too much.
Trust God with the result
Because this Bible study isn’t about you, you don’t have to worry about whether you have what it takes or what people think of you. You are simply providing space for the Holy Spirit to teach your group through intentional Bible study.
As it says in 1 Corinthians 3:7, God is the grower. As you step forward in faith, it will bring you more blessings than you could ever have imagined.