Monday, June 23, 2014

Preparing Bible Study Groups for the Fall

Imagine embarking on a vacation but never planning where you are going.  I know that some people enjoy this type of trip. But that is not the case with my family. We recently had a chance to go to New York City. My son, who had been there before, volunteered to plan our trip so we could take in everything possible. The results are evident by the text he sent us at the end of the trip, outlining all we had done (see image to the right). Most of us know the value of planning. While planning might not be as important for some activities, it is when it comes to preparing Bible study groups for the fall.
  • We should evaluate how well we are doing at reaching the unchurched for our Bible study groups and make plans for improvement.
  • We should evaluate how well we are doing at involving guests and new members in Bible study groups and plan appropriately.
  • We should plan to begin as many new groups as possible and begin enlisting leaders immediately.
  • We should evaluate our Bible study content to determine whether we are providing a balanced and biblical approach, and make appropriate plans for teaching the whole counsel of God.
  • We should plan appropriate and timely training for our Bible study group leaders.
Here are some things you can do to get ready:

June (or May)
  • Prepare list of potential group leaders and begin meeting with them regarding the possibilities of starting new groups.
  • Begin communicating with current group leaders to gain feedback and present your goals.
  • Plan a fall leadership training event and begin promoting the date.
  • Determine how you will celebrate and communicate the launch of all Bible study groups in the fall.
July (or June)
  • Finalize plans for the fall training event.
  • Finalize new group leader commitments.
  • Review curriculum and other resources, and prepare a curriculum plan for the year.
  • Finalize plans for launching fall Bible study groups.
  • Redistribute inactive group members and identify potential group members for the new classes.
  • Set up the new Bible study group rosters.
  • Make Bible study group location/room assignments, and prepare to communicate those to the church body.
  • Provide a "basic" training for new teachers.
August (or July)
  • Launch your fall Bible study group ministry, celebrating the new groups that were started. (Consider dedicating the worship service to a focus on Bible study group ministry.)
  • Conduct the larger training event for your Bible study group leaders. Use this event to reemphasize the vision of your Bible study groups and to outline the direction for the year.
This might all seem overwhelming, just like our New York City itinerary. Or, you may have thought of more planning details that I have failed to include. But, if you don't plan something, nothing will get accomplished. If you have never planned for the fall, start small and simple. Then expand as you learn how to plan wisely.

If you need help with training or resources consider searching the 4:12 Network for trainers who might be nearby who you could call for advice or enlist to come do training.