10 questions possible group members may ask

Chris Surratt teaching his workshop at the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ

Last week I had the privilege of sitting in a workshop led by Chris Surratt. He is a small-group expert, and has authored the book Small Groups For the Rest of Us.

Chris covered a lot of topics really quickly, but one that I particularly liked had to do with questions a possible group member might have. It’s a great reminder of the mental gymnastics that people often go through in order to step into a Bible study group.

Here, with Chris’s permission, are the 10 questions he believes possible group members are asking:

  1. How much time is this going to take?
  2. What are we going to do with our children during group meetings?
  3. Will there be homework? If so, how much?
  4. Am I going to have to talk, or can I just sit and listen during meetings?
  5. Will I have to pray out loud?
  6. Who else is going to be in this group.
  7. How much do I have to know about the Bible
  8. How many weeks or months is the group going to last?
  9. If I don’t like it, can I leave without people being angry with me?
  10. What are we going to do during meetings?

Potential group members have a lot of questions. Before they show up to one of our Bible study groups, they often have to get over a number of fears. You and I may not understand it, but newcomers have a lot of questions rolling around their heads.

If you are the leader of a Bible study group, think about how you might help answer these questions when potential group members show up. Can you cover them succinctly and from memory? Should you produce a take-home sheet with the questions and answers spelled out? Would it be best to have an email ready to send to a potential group member that covers these basic questions? (Google Mail has a feature called “canned responses” and it makes sending this kind of email very easy…type the text once, save it, and you can send it out over and over again).

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