New Year Resolutions for Bible Study Groups

Life is about transitions, and last night we watched the world transition from 2018 to 2019. Untold numbers of people are making new year resolutions as the new year begins, and it’s a good time for groups and group leaders to set some goals, too. Here are my top 3 new year resolutions for Bible study groups:

  1. Start a new group. This resolution is the most important one if you really want to reach people. New groups are easier for guests to fit into – they don’t feel as cliquish as older, established groups tend to feel to guests. New groups also raise the total attendance of the church’s Bible study ministry by an average of 10 people. One of the major reasons why churches are not growing is because they are not regularly starting new groups; take the lead and don’t wait for your pastor or other staff leader to ask you to do this – volunteer to start a new group and take the initiative.
  2. Party more often. Most groups don’t party enough. Yes, groups and group leaders tend to be well-intentioned when it comes to this important part of group life, but in reality most groups severely underestimate the value and the power of a party and don’t get together nearly as often as they should. A good rule of thumb: party regularly, and don’t wait until everyone in the group is available (or else you’ll never put a party on the books).
  3. Change the scorecard. Too many groups think success equals growing larger. To a degree, that’s true. But there is a point beyond which growth isn’t healthy for the group. Groups would be better off if they changed the scorecard and saw sending out people to serve as the major “win.” As a friend of mine once said, “Sunday School is a clearing house, not a storehouse.” Dr. Daryl Eldridge said that to my Sunday School teachers one summer when I invited him to come and train us. His words have been with me for the past 25 years. When groups encourage members to leave so they can serve as teachers and leaders in other ministries, you know the scorecard has changed. The biggest class on campus doesn’t win; the one who constantly sends out people to serve, does.

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