So you’ve taken a look at the newly updated Bible Studies For Life curriculum for adults and you like what you see…clean layout, intuitive leader guide, an engaging Personal Study Guide for your group members, great discussion questions, and an overall resource you can use to connect the unconnected, strengthen families, and disciple people with wisdom. But you’re wondering if it is right for your large group of 25, 35, or more. Will the new Bible Studies For Life work for your larger group?
The answer is yes! Bible Studies For Life can be used effectively with smaller groups and larger groups. If your group has reached a large number of adults and you want to use Bible Studies For Life to guide the Bible study, here are a few ways you can maximize it for your group members:
- Leader Guide Commentary – we’ve included robust commentary for every session. If your group is used to hearing you lecture and talk to them about the Scripture passage, then you’ll find lots of biblical insights.
- Additional Commentaries – there are two additional commentaries that go hand-in-hand with Bible Studies For Life that provide in-depth comments about the lesson passages. If you want approximately 4,000 additional words of commentary per session, then choose either the Hobbs Commentary (KJV-based) or Advanced Commentary.
- Biblical Illustrator – this great resource provides in-depth articles on biblical characters, places, and customs found in your sessions. Many group leaders use it to deepen their explanation of the biblical text.
- Opening question – each session in Bible Studies For Life has an opening question that is designed so that anyone in the group can answer it…it gets people talking and sharing very early in the session. If you’re leading a larger group, consider having your people group up in groups of three, or have them turn and talk with a “neighbor” to respond to the question. They’ll talk more that way, and they’ll build relationships with others in the group.
- Discussion questions – each session has 6 discussion questions that have been crafted with intentionality. As a group leader, you don’t have to use all of them! Use one or two you like, and keep the others “on hold” in case you decide to use them at the last minute during the group time. This allows you to pose a few great questions to your group without having to ask all six of them, giving you more time to lecture.
- In-group activity – Each Bible Studies For Life session has an in-group activity that is recommended. It is something that the group members would complete during the Bible study. Consider having the members of your larger group form smaller groups of 4-6 people and respond to the activity together.
- Magazine article – at the end of each Bible Studies For Life session, you’ll find a link (a QR code) to a free article that relates to that particular session. The stories are about real people who have faced some of the issues your group has just learned about. Consider asking one of your group members to read the article in advance and give a short one or two-minute report to your group. You can use this to help potential new leaders get comfortable being in front of the group, and you’re also pointing your entire class to some really great, free content that will encourage them in their daily walk with Christ.
- My Group’s Prayer Requests – again, if you have a large group, people may be timid about sharing prayer requests with the large group. However, you can use the new Prayer Requests feature at the end of each session to allow your larger group to break down into smaller groups for the purpose of sharing prayer requests. If you have a care group system in place already, allow the members to get together at the end of the session and share prayer requests that way using their Personal Study Guides.
Ken Braddy is Manger of LifeWay’s Ongoing Adult Curriculum and blogs weekly about small groups. He and his wife Tammy have just recently launched a new group in their church.