I was teaching a class about Sunday School to a group of ministry students at Oklahoma Baptist University when we began discussing curriculum. Holding a couple of curriculum pieces in my hand, I read the titles to students and asked which curriculum piece appealed to them the best. I was trying to make a point of not judging any curriculum by the fancy artwork on the cover when a student responded, “I like the one on the left”. He explained that he preferred that piece because it used the term “group study”. He went on to explain that…
A class is something you attend,
but a group is something you belong to.
People today want to belong. As the leader of your Bible study group, you need to make sure that you have a plan to help people move from attending to belonging. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Fellowship monthly. People need time apart from the normal Bible study to eat together, talk, and get to know others in a less structured atmosphere.
- Use nametags. David Francis has communicated the importance of nametags. People want to be called by their name, not “hey you” or “how about you in the red shirt”.
- Use smaller groups to engage group members in Bible study. Smaller groups help engage people who are less outspoken than others.
- Have a greeter at the door to the room. Greet everyone. If someone new attends, the greeter introduces them to others and gets a conversation started.
- Make phone calls. Develop a plan that includes other people in the group as leaders, and call every group member frequently.
- Occasionally break into groups of four when it is prayer time. Give each person an index card and ask them to write their name and 2-3 prayer requests on the card. Hand the card to the person beside them and each person prays for the person and requests on the card.
Bob Mayfield is the Sunday School/Discipleship specialist at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Bob also has his own blog at bobmayfield.com.
Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobmayfield and on Facebook at facebook.com/thebobmayfield