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Observations on Bible Study

To help your leadership team rethink women’s Bible study, first examine how you were doing Bible study pre-pandemic.

  • Make observations about format (i.e., video-driven with 1 discussion leader), location, room size (i.e., small classroom), attendance, ages of participants, childcare needs, etc.
  • Discuss areas of growth and challenges observed.
  • Based on those observations, what needs to change? (i.e., spaces for meeting, smaller groups, additional leaders, technology usage)

Steps to Rethinking Bible Study:

  1. Assess your women’s needs.
    1. How can you do this effectively? (i.e., online survey, phones calls, personal visits, email)
    2. Who is available to help? (Consider the powerhouse of older saints making calls using scripted questions.)
  2. Consider forming smaller Bible study groups (virtually or face-to-face). The added benefit is encouragement and care.
    1. How many existing leaders do you have?
    2. How many new leaders would you need to recruit and equip?
    3. Who are the women that you have identified?
    4. What additional space(s) would be needed? (i.e., classrooms, homes, outdoors, virtual Zoom rooms)
  3. Determine the best format for the next Bible study. Be mindful of the needs observed.
    1. Will all groups study the same material?
    2. What topic(s) is best to address at this time?
    3. What Bible study format best meets the needs of your situation?
      1. Video-driven using pre-recorded messages (i.e., Lifeway speakers, local church Bible study teacher) with predetermined discussion questions, etc.)
      2. Study a book of the Bible. This may require training leaders how to study the Bible. (See below)
    4. What meeting format is best at this time?
      1. Virtual (i.e., Zoom, Messenger chat, Facebook Live)
      2. Face-to-face in smaller groups on church campus, homes, or outdoors
      3. Hybrid (combination of both formats)
      4. Meeting more or less frequently
  4. How could implementing a new format enhance your Women’s Ministry?
    1. Are there opportunities to invite more women to participate?
    2. Can members invite lost neighbors or unchurched friends?
    3. Might participation increase due to smaller group size?
    4. What other positive changes could occur?
    5. Will discipleship/mentoring relationships naturally form?
  5. What training will you offer new leaders?
    1. What important principles need covering? (i.e., how to study the Bible, be a good listener, operate out of spiritual giftedness, how to ask open-ended questions)
    2. Who will conduct the training? (i.e., women’s team leader, current Bible study teacher, pastor/staff)
  6. Discuss other support ministries that you might consider implementing.
    1. Would a prayer team be helpful?
    2. Can you set up a network of women’s teachers in your church?
  7. Prioritize elements of your new plan to best meet needs.
    1. What new changes must be made in order to be effective?
    2. What plans can be used later?
  8. Consider meeting with your pastor or assigned staff member.
    1. Share the new plan you desire to implement, explaining the differences and seeking counsel on how to communicate changes.
      1. What feedback do you need to address?
    2. What steps will the church require when regathering?
  9. Communicate the new plan for Bible study with the women.
    1. What are the best methods of communication? (i.e., email, Facebook group, letter, face-to-face, phone call)
    2. In order to be clear and help the women feel comfortable with the changes, what details should you include? (i.e., Bible study topic, schedule, format, methods of safety guidelines and precautions, social distancing, expectations, locations)
    3. So all feel included and valued, how will you communicate acceptance of their choice of meeting for Bible study?