How to Plan and Host a Bible Study Marathon

Bible study marathon

No worries, Ladies- this post has nothing to do with an actual run! ;)

Have you ever wanted to sign up to participate in a community Bible study but you knew you were going to miss several weeks of the study due to schedule conflicts? Or maybe you have a group of women who really would love to watch a DVD Bible study together but getting together once a week for 8 or more weeks just won’t work for everyone?

Today I’m outlining how to plan and host a Bible study marathon.

What is a Bible study marathon?

A Bible study marathon is similar to a retreat or conference in that it is scheduled for a concentrated amount of time, but the biggest difference is that you don’t fly in speakers or travel away from your community. A Bible study marathon is simply taking a Bible study curriculum you would normally choose for your group and instead of watching the DVD and doing the lessons over the course of weeks, you simply watch all the sessions and complete the teaching outline portion of the session guides over the course of one or two days.

Now most Bible study curriculum is not designed to be completed in this manner, but I can attest to the fact that while it is not ideally suited to all Bible study curriculum, completing a Bible study marathon can be a wonderful tool to inspire and encourage a group of ladies who may otherwise not have the opportunity to participate. Having said that, let’s take a look on how to plan and host a Bible study marathon.

1. Decide on a date.

If you already have a certain group of women in mind, coordinate a day that will suit as many participants as possible. I recommend setting the date at least 6-8 weeks in advance in order to provide the opportunity for scheduling without conflicts.

2. Choose the study and determine the span of time needed for the study.

Doing a Bible study marathon works well with DVD studies that have shorter videos in length. Longer videos can be completed, but obviously more time is needed. When my community group did a marathon of this type, we used Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Lisa Terkeurst’s DVD series for Unglued. Each video was an average of 25 minutes or less and this particular study offers 6 sessions. Calculating the actual amount of time needed for viewing the video teaching is critical to knowing how much time the entire marathon will take.

3. Determine a place.

Whether you choose to host the study in your own home, someone else’s home, a church, or community gathering area, think about the amount of time you determined in point 2 and find a comfortable place.  Of course, there are many options and sometimes a little creativity is all it takes to find the perfect place. For two years, I led a community Bible study in a coffee shop and then we moved to a conference room in a yogurt shop. For one of the marathons I’ve hosted, a dear friend offered her beautiful home to host the study. Her children were all grown and she just loved hosting the women that night. You just never know what God might have; keep an open mind.

4. Establish the “extras.”

At this point, you should have the what (which study), the when (date and time), the who (women to invite), the where (event location), and now we are ready for the “how.” All of the details of this part of the Bible study marathon are up to how you believe God to be directing in your individual situation, but I just want to give you a few ideas:

  • Bible study marathons are a bit long and typically with less discussion than a weekly study. Make everyone as comfortable as possible. Maybe you could all wear your slippers. If meeting in a home, offer lap blankets or pillows.
  • Offer seasonally appropriate food and drink choices. If it is not in your budget to purchase everything, then perhaps having an email signup or online signup, such as Volunteer Spot, would work well for your event.
  • Be sure to have plenty of writing utensils available.
  • A widescreen tv or screen is most ideal, but depending on the size of the group, you could use a smaller screen.
  • Outline your agenda for the event. Watch the DVD sessions in sequence order.
  • Allow for appropriate breaks and if you’re flexible, let the ladies know to feel free and refill their glasses of tea or grab more chocolate or make a bathroom stop as needed.

Ok, Friends, this is a long post, but I wanted to let you know that I really believe this is a great way to offer studies in situations where you may not be able to do them otherwise.

I’ve been able to host a Bible Study marathon twice and each time held its own unique set of circumstances as to all the reasons why it was such a great event and loved by those in attendance.  I would really love to use this idea more in the future.

What comments or questions do you have about a Bible study marathon? I’d love to read them today!

Happy Monday!




A Simple Bible Study Guide Bookmark and Journal Page

Hey Friends! Last week a reader emailed and requested information regarding a popular post from last year titled, “A Simple Bible Study Guide.” One of our other readers had loved the post so much she created a bookmark and we made it available as a free printable for all readers to use.

While it’s been an incredible tool for the last year, the new reader I mentioned above was requesting a journal page like we have for the Prayer Journal and Joy Journal. So we decided to give a mini-facelift to a simple Bible study guide bookmark and add a journal page printable for it as well.

If you like the bookmark and want to slip it in your Bible OR save the graphic on your smartphone, then you can think through the questions when you do your Bible reading or throughout the day when you think about what you read. But if you enjoy writing as much as I do, then you can print out the journal page and create your own journal binder like our reader did with the other journal pages mentioned above in this example:

journaling in action

 Thank you so much, Steph, for sharing this photo with our community!!

Here is “A Simple Bible Study Guide” bookmark with 4 questions you can use for any chapter of the Bible.

simple bible study guide two bookmark


Click on the graphic above or HERE to download a pdf and print 4 bookmarks on one 8.5×11 sheet of cardstock.

This is a sample of the Bible study journal page, simple and easy to use:

sample bible study guide journal page

 Click HERE or on the graphic above and the journal page .PDF will open to print.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

I hope you enjoy these tools and thank you so much for sending me your ideas and requests. I love our community of readers because you are so inspiring with the way you seek the Lord and love on others!

Have a great day and I’ll see you tomorrow!



Bible Study for Beginners

start bible study

In the past two weeks, I’ve received the same question from so many of you. That question has been:

How do I begin to read and study the Bible for myself?

So today on Whimsical Wednesday, we’re doing something a little less whimsical and a little more practical- Bible Study for Beginners. I’m outlining the same information in this post that I send to each email request so that we can all read, share and learn together. Here we go.

The first question often asked, especially through the Bible Reading Challenge, is:

If I’m a beginner reader of the Bible, where do I start?

The first four books of the New Testament are called the Gospels- they are the story of Christ’s life from his disciples, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The book of John is written very simply and easy to understand.

My recommendation for beginner readers is to begin with the book of John. It’s always helpful to have a reading plan so that you can be accountable to follow through on your intentions. Here you can find a printable Bible reading plan for the book of John. Now I know it’s called “Children’s Bible Reading Plan,” but this plan is great for anyone who wants to begin to read the Bible. You can also find this plan in the Olive Tree Bible App.

My next recommendations for a beginner to read the Bible, after the book of John, are:

I John, II John, & III John




After completing the above, you could easily begin any formalized reading plan, such M’Cheyne, which is the one I am using for the Bible Reading Challenge. And there are multiple others listed right here.

So after determining where to begin to read the Bible, the next question I receive most is:

How do I study the Bible?

One of the easiest ways to study the Bible is using this simple Bible study guide- 4 questions you can use for any chapter of the Bible. ** ADDENDUM: NEW guide bookmark and journal page HERE.

Precept Ministries offers a simple Bible study guide for the entire Bible, which you can find here.

I have 4 simple Bible study tips you can find here for when you feel that you’d like to dig in more than a simple guide.

So we’ve answered two of the questions I frequently receive via email! Yay! And now I would LOVE it if you’d share your simple Bible study plans, tips, and guides with us, especially anything that might help beginners since this post is geared towards those who are new to studying the Bible.

new whimsical wed

And now it’s time for Whimsical Wednesdays, where bloggers from all around the world stop by to link up their wonderfully encouraging posts. Glad to have you, Bloggers! Be sure to encourage another blogger who links up before or after you and I’ll do my best to be an encouragement to you as well.

Happy Wednesday!