7 reasons why PSGs are a good idea for your group

I recently met with a group of pastors who attended a conference at LifeWay’s new headquarters in Nashville, TN. My assignment: spend an hour with them thinking through the reasons why providing a PSG (personal study guide) for Bible study group members is a good idea. In my 18 years of local church education/discipleship ministry, I made certain that every person had the opportunity to have their own PSG to be used as a disciple-making tool. Here are six reasons why PSGs are a good idea:

  1. THEY REMOVE BARRIERS.  Content increases confidence. People are often intimidated by their lack of knowledge. It’s hard to convince someone to visit a Bible study group if they don’t feel confident they can keep up with the people in the group. A PSG makes sure that people have equal access to the information being covered in the group.
  2. THEY ARE A DISCIPLESHIP TOOL. People must learn to self-feed daily in order to grow. Dr. Brad Waggoner’s research has demonstrated this consistently. Self-feeding and reading God’s Word and other Christian literature daily is the #1 predictor of spiritual growth.
  3. THEY HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD. God’s Word transforms a disciple’s life. PSGs have excellent commentary from trusted authors and experts.
  4. THEY DEEPEN DISCUSSION. Good discussion questions create a quality experience in a group Bible study. Questions in the curriculum are crafted by experts who have advanced degrees and many years of experience in group dynamics.
  5. THEY DEVELOP LEADERS. Group members grow in the confidence they need to take the next step toward becoming group leaders. If a Leader Guide is a crafted as a simple tool, then any lay person could expect to pick up a copy, read the teaching plan, and deliver a satisfying Bible study experience.
  6. PEOPLE ATTEND IRREGULARLY. Group members are able to keep up when they are absent. Discipleship shouldn’t take a week off. When people are absent, they can keep up with the group IF they have a PSG.
  7. THEY ARE AN AFFORDABLE TOOL. The cost of a PSG ($3-4) averages out to just $.04 a day per person. PSGs contain 13 Bible studies and cover a 90 day period of time. I challenge you to come up with anything else that is a quality piece produced by experts and delivered to your church for less than $.04 a day per person!

Now, one final thing. I realize that this could look incredibly self-serving since I work for a company that produces PSGs for Bible study groups! I get that. But please consider that for 18 years prior to coming to work at LifeWay, I was a strong advocate that every person in my church, plus every guest, receive a PSG. I was a fan of the PSG as as disciple-making tool long before I drew a paycheck from LifeWay!

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