Though I plan to milk the summer season for every drop it can offer, last week I began to think about fall Bible study. Whether you attend a church Bible study or a community study, sometimes it is difficult to know what to do and where to go. Today I thought I’d offer a few tips from what I’ve learned over the last decade of participating in Bible studies. In no particular order, here are 4 tips on how to choose a Bible study.
1. Explore the studies available in your area.
Are you interested in a Bible study at church? Does your church offer studies? What studies are available in your community? Are their other churches in your area with studies available? What online Bible studies are available?
Leadership tip: Offer a small variety of times and studies if at all possible. This has the potential to increase both leadership and attendee availability. Online leaders: Give as much flexibility as you can in the flexibility and structure of the design.
2. Evaluate your schedule and the Bible studies being offered.
There have been years that I chose a Bible study simply because it was the only one available with child care and I couldn’t attend without child care. Other times I chose a study because it was the only free night that worked well for my family’s schedule.Having the ability to commit to the study is half the battle- so choose the day of the week and time wisely.
Leadership tip: Offer surveys and request feedback at the end of Bible study sessions to assist you in determining what availability is working well for your attendees.
3. Estimate the amount of daily personal study time before you commit to participating.
Will this study require 45 minutes of personal study time 5 days a week? Or 15 minutes of personal study time 7 days a week? Or is this a book study that will require reading only during the week? Set yourself up for success by blocking the appropriate amount of time in your weekly and daily schedule.
Leadership tip: Be sure to include the amount or ranges of anticipated study time in your descriptions of the Bible study wherever you disclose the information, whether in the church bulletin, through email, on your website, etc.
4. Examine your heart to see what God is whispering to you in this season.
Many times I knew God planted a study right in my path because He had already been speaking to my heart through that particular book of the Bible or that exact topic of the study being offered. Ask the Lord to give you confirmation if you feel torn between a couple different studies but aren’t sure how much time you can commit or which one is best suited for the season.
Leadership tip: Be sensitive to the current season within your church body or community. Understand the study you are choosing and the potential effect on your study participants.
Be sure to check out my free Bible study and guide: Outside the Zone- stepping outside our comfort zones to be used of God. Available for free for a limited time- download the pdf here!
Would you share with us in the comments any tips you have for choosing a Bible study? Would love to read your ideas!