If your Bible study group is what we call an “open” group, then it is designed to reach new people. In fact, the group leader and the group’s members most likely are on the lookout for new people. If you want to make your guests feel welcome, do the following:
- Wear Name Tags – My friend David Francis harps on this, and I have, too. I’ve seen how important those inexpensive stick-on name tags are when guests come to my group’s study. Our group has had three new guest couples attend our Bible study in the past three weeks. Giving them a name tag to fill out and wear is a part of my church’s strategy for assimilating people into life at our church.
- Sit in a Circle – If your room is arranged in rows of chairs, consider sitting in a large circle. People are more likely to speak up and participate if they can see each other’s faces.
- Introduce Guests to Group Members – Take the initiative and introduce guests to people in your Bible study group. Some folks are pretty shy (both guests and group members), and they need a little push to start talking to one another.
- Make Sure your Meeting Place has Extra Chairs – There’s nothing more “neighborly” than having plenty of seating for guests…and if your meeting place is arranged in rows, please don’t make guests sit “up front.”
- Call Guests by Name During the Bible Study – wearing name tags will help you do this! Don’t put a guest on the spot, but do affirm any answer they provide. “John, that’s a great insight. Thank you for sharing that with our group.”
- Invite the Guest Back! – Don’t let a guest leave your Bible study group without asking them to please join you again the next time your group meets. Don’t assume they’ll come back. Instead, let them know how important they are to you and your group, and that you want them to return.