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