Hosting a Bible Study is an incredibly rewarding experience. For one thing, it helps Christians to develop close relationships with each other. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Friendships serve as protection and lead to fruitfulness.
When you come together to study Scripture, the Holy Spirit will also teach you more about who God is and how He sees you. You don’t have to know everything to lead a Bible study and you don’t have to have your life together. If God is calling you to host a study, he’ll equip you with everything you need. Here are six tips that can help you get started.
1. Lean Into Prayer
Before you dive into planning, start by asking God for wisdom. You’ll need to make a lot of decisions to make this Bible study happen, including who to invite, where to meet and what to study. Prayer is a reminder that the success of this endeavor doesn’t rely on your abilities but on God’s strength.
Don’t just pray before you make these decisions. Pray throughout the whole planning process, during study meetings and after each get-together. Ask for God’s will in your group and trust him with the final outcome of your study.
2. Define Your Goals
Choosing specific goals for your group is one of the things you can pray about. Goals will keep you focused during meetings and help you determine the success of the study. An example of a goal might be, “I want this Bible study to deepen friendships.”
During your first meeting, you can share your goals with the group. Then, it’s a good idea to ask each person why they came. That will help everyone get on the same page so you can reach your goals together.
3. Be a Leader
The earlier you start acting like a leader, the better your Bible study meetings will go. Leaders coordinate, encourage and set boundaries for success. You can start being a leader by sending out invitations early and then checking with people to see who’s coming.
It’s also a good idea to create a loose schedule for your meeting. As the leader, your role is to facilitate conversation rather than dominate it. You can keep everyone on track and focused on the material while ensuring that everyone gets a turn to speak and time to think.
4. Create a Cozy Space
You can host a Bible study at home even if your house isn’t perfectly clean. No one else’s is either! The most important thing about hosting in your house is that you create a cozy space where everyone feels comfortable – starting with yourself.
Some Bible studies eat together before they get started, but that’s totally up to you. If you do decide to include food, make sure you check with members for any allergies. It’s also a good idea to improve your indoor air quality before you invite anyone over. Remember that many people are allergic to scented candles and perfumes.
5. Ask for Help
There’s no rule that says you have to run a Bible study all on your own. In fact, letting other people come alongside you in the process can be a huge blessing to them. If you’d like a partner to help you lead, pray about it and ask someone to join your endeavor.
You can also ask for help with the food or other resources for each meeting. Create a sign-up sheet or ask a friend who loves to bake if they’d be willing to bring the food. If your home isn’t a good fit for the meetings, you might be able to meet in someone else’s home – all you have to do is ask.
6. Embrace Discomfort
If you’ve never led a Bible study before, you’ll probably feel uncomfortable during your first few meetings. However, it may help to remember that everyone is a bit nervous when they face new situations. As you push through the discomfort, you’ll grow in ways you never expected.
There are also several strategies you can take to calm your nerves. For example, if you’re worried about awkward silences, try playing background music. You can also split up the reading and ask questions so that you don’t feel like you’re talking too much.
Trust God With the Outcome
Because this Bible study isn’t about you, you don’t have to get all caught up in whether you have what it takes or what people think about you. You’re simply providing a space for the Holy Spirit to teach your group through intentional Bible study.
As it says in 1 Corinthians 3:7, God is the one who causes growth. As you step forward in faith, He’ll meet with you more blessings than you could have ever imagined.