As a first-time Bible study leader, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the moment. Thankfully, there are lots of resources available to help you succeed. Thinking through all of the details in advance will help calm your nerves. Whether you’re leading the group for your church, neighborhood or friends, here are four tips to help you prepare to lead your first Bible study.
1. Identify a Topic
Think about the people who will attend your study and choose a topic that meets their needs. New Christians will benefit from learning more about their faith in the Gospels. Those dealing with grief will find comfort in Psalms or the book of Ruth, who survived tough times and moved on to a better life. A study in Proverbs offers practical wisdom about finances, relationships and parenting. Lessons about Jesus and the early church benefit everyone. Look online for Bible study information to help you plan the study material.
2. Choose a Location
The location of your Bible study is important as well. You want to create the right environment so attendees feel comfortable and are able to focus on the lesson. Some people may feel awkward meeting in a church classroom. If possible, hold the study in a home with a room large enough to seat the number of people who will attend. Choose a house that offers minimal distractions from kids, pets or outside noise.
3. Select a Time
Select a convenient time that’s least likely to conflict with everyone’s personal schedules. Avoid weekends or morning start times unless your participants are retirees. Your best choice is a one-hour meeting on a weekday evening with a 7 p.m. start time. Make every effort to begin and end the study on time for the benefit of those on tight schedules due to kids, work or school.
4. Plan the Meeting
It’s important to plan out the meeting in advance. Think again about the members of your group and what their needs are. If the members don’t know each other, you’ll want to include icebreaker activities to help them interact and connect. Established groups usually want more time devoted to Bible study and less on fellowship. Plan on spending 35 – 45 minutes in the lesson and allow time for prayer and snack time at either the beginning or end of the meeting.
Preparation is an important step for Bible study leaders. Following these four tips will help you successfully lead your first Bible study group.