This coming Sunday my wife and I launch a new Bible study group on Sunday morning. We are targeting parents of teenagers/college students. It’s a great time of life when we have the privilege of watching our kids grow and mature, make mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. As we begin this new class, there are four things that we are committed to doing in order to help this new group launch well. We’ve done it before on several occasions, and it’s worked every time. Here are the four things that will make any Bible study group successful, all built around the acrostic “L-I-F-E”
- Learn and apply God’s Word – Learning God’s Word is important, so I plan to teach interactively, using the 8 learning approaches (2 or 3 per session). I also want to answer the question, “What now?” at the end of each Bible study so that we have specific ways to apply the Bible passage to life.
- Invite others to become Christ followers – Groups exist, and the church exists, to make disciples. So to that end, I’ll make sure that each session is Christ-centered and that I throw out the evangelistic net. Even if no one responds (perhaps all the people will be in a relationship with Christ already) I’ll still be able to teach them how to share the gospel as they listen to me connect the lesson to the gospel message.
- Form authentic relationships – This is such a big part of what Sunday School should be about. It’s not all about sitting in rows and listening to a one-sided monologue. Sunday School is about sitting in circles, sharing life, praying for one another, and carrying each other’s burdens. I’ll use group activities in class, plus time set aside at the beginning of the study, to accomplish this. Plus, we’ll schedule regular fellowships (date nights, Sunday lunch, day trips, etc) to give members and guests the opportunity to connect relationally.
- Engage in service to others – I’ll drive my group members to serve their fellow group members as care group leaders; I’ll recruit a prayer leader, fellowship leader, and ministry leader, too. But that’s not the end of it. Although we will engage in service to others inside the group, I’ll also push them to serve inside the church by leaving my group to teach another class or engage in a ministry that needs leaders. I’ll also encourage the group to work together in the community and set aside days when we reach out to others by serving their needs in very practical ways.
If my group (and your group) does these four things, it will experience success. We’ll study the Word, share the gospel, love one another, and serve others outside the church. I don’t know of anything else I’d ask a group to do!
Pray for us as we launch this coming Sunday!
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