Shaking up your friend’s can of soda? Funny. Shaking things up in your Bible study group? Needed, but maybe not funny.
If your Bible study group has fallen into a fairly predictable pattern when it gathers for Bible study, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit. Nothing too drastic, though! Just enough to get your group members wondering what’s going to take place so that you capture their interest and attention again. The sad news is that group members can predict what’s going to happen each week with a high degree of accuracy. To borrow from a football analogy, if your team’s playbook fell into the hands of the other team, you’d quickly change things up and call some new plays. If the people in our groups know our playbook, why not shake things up a bit?
Here are a few quick ways to shake things up in your group this week:
- Vary your room arrangement. This communicates that something is going to be different. If the chairs always face a certain way, turn them to face a different wall. If your group’s chairs are arranged in rows, form small circles of 4-6 people.
- Vary the order of things. If you normally begin your group time with prayer, save that for the end of class. If you normally jump right into the Bible study, budget some fellowship time instead to begin your group’s meeting. A new order of events can keep people guessing what’s happening next.
- Vary your meeting location. Move to a room across the hallway if your group meets at the church campus, or if the weather is nice, move your group outside. If your group meets in a home or restaurant, pick a different place to come together for your Bible study. Jesus was able to teach from a boat, in a living room, on a hillside, or as He walked along the road. Maybe it’s time to follow His example? Jesus didn’t have any trouble teaching wherever there was an opportunity.
- Vary your teaching methods. Most teachers fall into teaching ruts and they tend to teach the same way week after week. Use a variety of learning approaches to shake things up for your learners. We tend to teach in a way that’s comfortable to us. To meet our group member’s needs, we need to include a variety of learning approaches. To learn more about using different learning approaches, read Dr. Thomas Armstrong’s book titled 7 Kinds of Smart. It’s a good introduction to different learning approaches you can use in your Bible study group. Dr. Armstrong’s research while at Harvard University demonstrated that each of us is smart in his or her own way; we all learn and process information differently.
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