If variety is truly the spice of life, then too many Bible study groups are pretty bland. Group members are no longer surprised by what takes place during a Bible study because the group leader has stopped making any significant changes to the things that take place during a Bible study session. If I’m not careful, I can allow myself to fall into a pattern that is all too predictable by the members of my group. Here are 5 simple but powerful ways to change things up and keep group members engaged and excited about Bible study.
- Change the focal point of the room – if your group meets in a traditional classroom on a church campus, you can change things up by creating a new focal wall. Use jumbo Post-It Notes (blank poster-sized sheets) as an inexpensive and effective way to give yourself a new place to write, rather than using the wall-mounted whiteboard you typically use. Shifting chairs to face this new focal wall signals to the group that something is going to be different. Try making the focal wall opposite the door through which people enter the classroom – late arrivers can enter without distracting the group since attention is focused on a wall opposite where they are entering the room.
- Vary the order of events – Most group leaders are creatures of habit. I often find myself slipping into comfortable patterns and routines as I lead my group to study the Bible. Try changing the order in which you do things – if you typically pray at the beginning of a session, change things up and do that last. If you always lead with a fellowship time, jump right into the Bible study, and after you finish encourage people to stay and visit.
- Meet in a different location – If your group meets in a traditional classroom, consider meeting for Bible study in a different room (or outside if the weather is nice); sometimes a change of venue can be exhilarating! If your group meets at an off-campus location, select a new spot (a different restaurant or home). The new sights and sounds of a different location can be very stimulating.
- Have someone else lead the group’s Bible study – It’s true that our group members can get very familiar with our teaching style, so occasionally step aside and let someone else teach for a while. Perhaps you could let your apprentice group leader teach a 4 or 6-session series of studies, giving you a break and allowing your group members to hear from someone besides yourself. If you don’t have an apprentice group leader, consider having another group leader teach your people, while you trade places and teach his group.
- Meet on a different day of the week – If your group normally meets on Tuesday evenings, try meeting on Friday nights (maybe you can even turn that into a dinner & Bible study, adding an extended fellowship time to your normal schedule of activities). If your group meets on Sunday mornings, agree on meeting Thursday nights for a short time, dedicating your Sunday mornings to serving in the preschool or children’s ministries your church provides to families with young children.
What other ways would you add to this list of things to do in order to change things up for your Bible study group?