I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate about serving the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each week, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource.
This week’s resource is the small group Bible study, Awake: The Call to a Renewed Life, by Dr. Ronnie Floyd, from Bible Studies for Life. Bible Studies for Life is a Bible study resource that focuses on real-life issues through a research-validated discipleship plan. The studies are also great tools to help churches launch new groups.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Sin demands to have a man by himself.” Sin hates Christian community because in community sin can be exposed, confessed, and forsaken. The Christian life was never meant to be lived in isolation.
Because of this, most churches have a desire to connect the unconnected, whether those not active in church at all or people who attend church but are not part of a Bible study group. A church-wide campaign is an effective way to connect both types of people, and here are some steps to get you started.
Start new groups.
Studies show that new groups are better than existing groups at connecting unconnected people. When everyone is new, the environment is less intimidating because everyone is in the same place. A few questions to consider as you launch:
- When will the group meet? Is it before or after a worship service or another time during the week, such as a weeknight?
- Where will the group meet? On the church campus or off, such as in a home?
- What will the group study? Some options are better suited to new groups. Bible Studies for Life utilizes a conversation-based study format that is easy to adopt yet deep enough to disciple people well.
- Who will guide the group? While it isn’t always easy to recruit new leaders, a leader-friendly Bible study, such as Bible Studies for Life, can help.
Create a campaign.
You need to build momentum around your new groups, and a church-wide emphasis can help encourage people to attend the new groups.
- Consider beginning with a six-session study. Small groups pioneer Lyman Coleman said six weeks is short enough to encourage commitment, but long enough for connections to form. This is why Bible Studies for Life is split into 6-session units.
- Encourage all groups to study the same thing. Alignment can build momentum across the entire church, especially if you promote it from the platform. If you want to align sermons to the studies, suggestions are available at http://blog.lifeway.com/biblestudiesforlife/pastors/
- Promote the campaign.
Communicate with volunteers and leaders.
Make sure all your group leaders are prepared to lead and communicate the vision for new groups. Download dozens of helpful articles and new group checklists for free from www.groupsmatter.com.
Launching new groups, creating a campaign to build momentum, and communicating with all your leaders can help your church connect the unconnected. Here is a video of how Grace Community Church used Bible Studies for Life to do just that.
You can preview three free sessions of Bible Studies for Life any time at biblestudiesforlife.com.
Today, I am giving away the latest study in Bible Studies for Life — Awake by Dr. Ronnie Floyd, (1 Leader Kit and 10 Bible Study Books) to 2 Bible study groups at different churches. Click here or fill out the form below to enter to win by Friday 12:01 am CST.