Kiddie pools are for kids. Young adults are looking to dive in, head first, to all the hard-to-talk-about topics, tough questions, and thought-provoking Scriptures. Meeting this need requires preparation. Beyond the actual discussion, here are a few practical steps you can take to create a culture of depth surrounding your Bible study time.
Environment matters. Preparing a place for the study is an essential first step. Your group’s meeting place will, in some ways, determine the intimacy level that your group reaches. Your goal should be to make the room warm and inviting while removing as many distractions as possible, such as turning off cell phones and checking the room temperature. Put the chairs in a circle rather than a lecture setting. Bringing snacks and drinks quickly warms up a room and encourages people to talk and interact with one another.
Plan time intentionally. Try to have relationship building or hangout time as a part of every (yes, every) study—maybe 15 to 20 minutes. This communicates a couple of things—that the relationships in the group matter and that the group exists to study the Bible and do life together. Then transition to the study, ideally giving 45 to 60 minutes for a great time of discussion and learning. Then move to prayer. This time should include both prayer requests and praying together.
Good questions are the key. Questions launch the discussion time. Be intentional about which questions you choose to ask and how you ask them. Your tone and attitude models for your group members what it looks like to approach Scripture seeking real answers to life’s questions. A great question leads to discussion and a deeper understanding of God through His Word in a real, non-cheesy kind of way.
Adapted from Context: Engaging the Young Adults of Your Community, (Nashville: LifeWay Press, 2009), 30.