Archive for relationships

Leading Group Members to Build Relationships

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
Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobmayfield and on Facebook at


3 Ways to Use Social Media to Build Relationships

fbconnectWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? One word: Relationships. Every group leader should consider utilizing today’s media to connect with group members. And every group should consider which forms of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. will work best.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are three ways to use social media to increase connections:

  1. View, create and share information. Groups of all sizes are utilizing facebook, twitter, and other forms of social media to communicate.  They communicate upcoming activities, prayer requests, and concerns.  Every group member is a person who needs a place to belong and be loved just for who they are.
  2. Share interests and passions. God has made each member unique.  One of the great things about social media is hearing the passion of group members.  Group are most effective in reaching beyond their classroom wall, when they mobilize around group members’ passions and interests.  Every group member is a missionary with gifts, talents, and passions.
  3. Continue the lesson after the group meeting. Reinforce the central point or life lesson that was taught by sending out a tweet, an email, a link, or a challenge during the week.  Seek input from group members on how they are taking the truth of God’s word and applying it in their everyday life.  Every group member is either exploring Christ or on a life-long journey of discipleship to become like Christ.

Social media is one way to build a more connected group and a foundation to build stronger relationships and groups.