One action we have encouraged is the delivery of either the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide to every group member every quarter. We should not discount the value of delivering resources, to us or to the individuals in our groups. We learn a great deal about the people in our group that we would not have learned otherwise. We communicate that Bible study is important and that we care enough to make sure they have a tool for doing personal Bible study.
We need to know that when we deliver the Personal Study Guide or Daily Discipleship Guide, we will encounter different responses. Some will welcome us with open arms, wanting us to spend two hours with them. Most will be gracious and spend a short time with us at the door. A few will do what they can to make it a challenge. A smaller few will appreciate the gesture but feel guilty or obligated as a result.
Here are some helpful tips that may help you when delivering Bible study resources to your group.
1. Give a warning. Most of us want to know when to expect someone to drop by our house. We want to know the arrival time of our pizza, the exterminator, or the package we ordered. We should tell the group we are delivering the study resource and the time window so they will know. This need not be complicated and can be sent with a simple text to the group. We will want to make sure we let everyone know a couple of days in advance.
2. Communicate why. We want our group to know why everyone needs a copy of the study resource and that everyone ought to study the Bible. We cannot make them study the Bible on their own, but we can at least provide them with a tool to encourage it. Saying things like “so you can study on your own” or “so we can all be studying together” communicates the intent. We do not want to focus on the past (ex: we have been missing you) but instead should focus on the future (ex: wanted to make sure everyone in our group could study together these next three months).
3. Keep moving. I try to block out a single evening to deliver to everyone on my ministry list. Online mapping can help in creating a travel plan that is most efficient. For me to do visit everyone in that time frame, We need to keep moving if we are going to deliver to everyone in the window we promised. Since everyone knows that we are trying to deliver to everyone in a specific time, that helps. We can gently ask them to pray for us as we deliver the resource to the rest of the group. We may want to visit people most likely to require more time later in the delivery route than at the beginning.
4. Respect their directions. If a person tells us to leave the resources on the third spire of the picket fence to the right of the hummingbird feeder, then we ought to do so. If they have a sign on their door to not use the doorbell, then we ought to resist the temptation. A text to let them know you left a bag for them on the doorknob will work. Use a plastic bag and make sure to include a personal note. Index cards work just as well as personalized cards at this point.
5. Pray. This is two-fold. Pray while driving, biking, or walking from one residence to the next. Thank God for the opportunity to lead a Bible study group and for open doors. Ask Him to help us be sensitive and attentive to the needs of the person we are about to encounter. The second part of this is to pray with the persons we encounter along the way. We need to make it about their needs, refraining from sharing our own needs and struggles unless asked.
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