If your Bible study group is what we call an “open” group, then it is designed to reach new people. Sunday School groups are an example of “open” groups – they expect new people and are open to them being in the group. 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 when they drop by, do the following:
- Wear Name Tags – My friend David Francis believes in this, and I do, too. I’ve seen how important those inexpensive stick-on name tags are when guests come to my group’s study. My Bible study group continues to have new guest couples. Giving them a name tag to fill out and wear is a part of my group’s strategy for assimilating people into our group.
- 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. Even better: have a designated greeter or greeters in your group whose job it is to reach out to your guests and introduce them to others.
- 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.
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