Most of us have a set amount of time available for us to lead a Bible study group. We have a start time and an end time that is dictated by various factors (worship service before or after, care of children, other responsibilities, etc.). The issue is protecting the time we do have and being a good steward of that time. Here are two tips that will help you manage the group time better.
- Arrive early
As the leader, you set the tone for what happens in the group time. If you are the last one there, the tone has already been set and you have to spend part of the time resetting the tone. Sometimes, that can become a real tug-of-war. The group time does not start when you direct them to locate the Bible passage; it begins when the first person arrives. By arriving early, you can influence the conversation that takes place as the group members arrive. In the Explore the Bible Leader Guide and QuickSource, you will find questions that can be used to focus the conversation to introduce the Bible study. The transition into the actual examination of the Bible text will be easier, more natural, and take place sooner.
- Take prayer requests at the end (as opposed to the beginning)
Most of us have started our group time with prayer. We have also found ourselves thinking about how we were going to shorten the study time as all the details of an upcoming surgery are being shared. There is nothing wrong with prayer, but we must guard the Bible study time. For some, the only time they will engage in Bible study with others will be the time they are sitting across from us. If prayer requests are taken at the end, we will get the same requests but usually in concise terms. We may want to provide a sheet of paper on a clipboard that is passed around during the group time for collecting prayer requests. We can review these at the end as well.
What other actions have you found to be helpful in getting the most out of you group time?