Keep your Bible study group off-balance

It’s good to keep your group members just slightly off balance. By that I mean it’s good when they cannot tightropepredict exactly what will take place in your Bible study group week after week. A simple way to communicate that something will be different is to simply rearrange your meeting space. Making a small change or two in the way your room is arranged can build anticipation on the part of your group members. They’ll wonder what’s going to be different during your Bible study.

I did this yesterday with my Bible study group. We normally sit in a large circle. Very large. Instead of continuing with that tradition yesterday, I quickly rearranged the room into to semi-circles that faced a different focal wall. People literally walked into the room, stopped, and said, “Wow! What are we doing today?” It created instant interest. Several people commented how much they liked the change of pace!

So to keep your Bible study group off-balance, consider doing one or more of the following:

  • If your group meets in rows, rearrange the room into  several half-circles or one large circle. When people can see each other’s faces, it will enhance communication. If you want your group to talk more, try this approach to room arrangement.
  • Reorient the room toward a different focal wall. If your group members are accustomed to facing a particular focal wall each week, face the chairs toward a different wall. Use wall-size Post-It Notes to create a temporary marker board on the new focal wall, or place a small marker board on a tripod instead of using the wall-mounted one you normally do. Even a small change like this can signal that something is going to be different during your Bible study.
  • Bring in tables. I am not a fan of tables in the room all the time (they take up too much space and reduce the number of people who can actually be in the room). But from time to time, bring in round tables, or create a large “U” using rectangular tables.
  • Do any of the above in reverse! If your group is normally around tables, remove them and arrange the room in half-circles or groups of 5-6 in smaller circles. If your group meets in circles, put them in rows one week.

In baseball, we’d call this “throwing a curve ball.” The idea is to do something unexpected. Be slightly unpredictable. Keep your people slightly off balance.


Follow my blog and I’ll send you 3 to 4 posts a week to encourage and equip you as leaders in your church’s Bible teaching ministry. Consider buying a copy of my latest book, Breathing Life Into Sunday School: 12 essentials to revive your most important ministry. It contains 12 effective, simple, and inexpensive ways to give your Sunday School a boost.

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