Tips for a Successful Small Group Bible Study

The first five minutes of your group time sets the tone for the whole. People tend to make up their mind about how they are going to feel about class in the first five minutes and then spend the rest of the hour trying to defend why that idea is right.

1)   Welcome!
Have someone stationed by the door prepared to greet everyone who walks in and especially to welcome strangers. Wal-Mart does it. You should too.

 2)    Start on time!
But, if we were to do that, half our group isnt there and they would miss it. Start on time. One of the reasons people show up late to church events is the leadership is in the habit of starting late. We reward the people who are late by accommodating their lateness. We punish the people who are on time by not starting on time.

3)   Eat!
People don’t know what to do when they first come in, and they are uncomfortable doing nothing. Give them something to do, eat. Give them something to eat. Eating relaxes people and puts them at ease. It gives them something to do and relieves the awkwardness.

Providing refreshments each week is easy enough to do. First, someone needs to be in charge. Not in charge of making refreshments every week, but in charge of seeing that it is taken care of. About every two months, they can pass around a sign up list with dates for people to volunteer.

Good Questions – Josh Hunt


Work – A Drudgery to be Dreaded?

In our culture, work is typically presented as a drudgery often to be dreaded. Such a sentiment is expressed in songs like “Working for the Weekend.” Many people endure the five days of work so they can enjoy two days (hopefully), before starting the cycle again.

We all face periods when work is intense. With overtime, big projects, taking up the slack for a fired co-worker, or catching up after a vacation, physical and mental overload can become a reality.

Unfortunately, for too many people these periods are the norm rather than the exception. The norm, for believers anyway, should be that our work brings us joy. This is how God intended it.

“3 Reasons Your work Should Bring You Joy” Ronnie Floyd

Rows or Circles?

Maybe it depends on your definition of disciple, but in my experience disciples are rarely made in rows.

Don’t get me wrong.  Rows are good for some things.  You can fit more chairs in a room that’s set up theater style…in rows.  You can disseminate information to a larger group seated…in rows.  You can leverage the teaching of a gifted communicator more effectively…in rows.

You just can’t make disciples in rows.  Or at least it’s not likely.  And rows certainly won’t be the only environment or method necessary.

Making a disciple is mostly about one life investing in another.  It can happen in a group, but it’s not about one-way communication.  It’s about dialogue.  It is about communicating truth, but way more than just receiving truth.  Making a disciple is about life on life.

I like Andy Stanley’s take on life-change: ”Life-change happens in circles, not in rows.”

Is life-change the same thing as disciple making?  No.  I don’t think so.  But disciples are rarely made in rows either.

Mark Howell