College Bible Study Ideas

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by ScottEmerson, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    Hello, all.

    So here's the situation. I'm one of the pastors at a small, new-ish church start that began partly to reach those who would not normally go to a traditional church. We meet at a local community college, and God has been opening plenty of doors in the school and in the community around us. The college in which we host our services is mostly commuter-based, and is not a strong college ministry presence in the area.

    We started a Sunday night meeting called "The Underground" a year-and-a-half ago, which was designed to be a Bible study/discussion group for people of all beliefs, faiths, and so on. The first time we met, we met at Starbucks on the city square, one college kid showed up. Over the past few months, we've seen it grow, and last semester, we averaged about 15 kids. We've had to move outside to the gazebo on the city square, where people have come up and joined us, including some of the homeless population, which is awesome.

    We usually split up into two small groups and then come back together to go through the scriptural questions and end with a big idea. This isn't too hard with 15 college students, most all of whom are Christian or at the least, churched.

    During this time, we've also started a ministry to international students. It's taken a year, but we are finally seeing some definite fruits to the ministry. Last night, we had 5 new international students come (only one of which is Christian) and two more are coming next week. We also had four new people who are neither Christian nor churched. With everyone there, we had 32 people! While a few are heading back to their own schools, we will be having around 25 students (plus whoever else begins to come.)

    My question is this: As a church with no facility, and as a group with an infusion of ten non-Christians all of a sudden, what is the best way to lead a college Bible study? Our church is going through the sermon on the mount, and I'd like to go through that, as even those of other faiths recognize it as moral teaching (but we'll press it and show that it is much more than "moral teaching" - it is Truth!)

    How do we give everyone a chance to learn and be a part, allowing discussion, disagreement, and dialogue with so many people? Has anyone dealt with something like this? Any and all help would be much appreciated!
     
  2. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    One thing you can do is continue breaking up into more than just two groups--usually 6 to 8 in a group max allows for discussion. The problem would not be having enough solid Christians in with the new.

    Another option would be to gear small cell groups that meet at homes, coffee shops, etc., and gear the small cell groups towards different levels--learning about the truth, studying the truth, putting the truth into practice....
     
  3. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    We have had some great success with college aged adults in our ministry. One of the keys has been to keep the groups smaller, no more than 10, and based them around video teaching. It works for us might not work for you.

    We have identified some key topics to engage with the students at a deeply biblical level. We have yet to encounter someone who has said, "Whoa, you're way too into the Bible for me."

    We use (unapologetically):
    Threads curriculum (threadsmedia.com)
    Andy Stanley curriculum
    h2O: A journey of faith
    Bluefishtv.com curriculum
    John Piper curriculum
    Nooma videos

    All have been successful. Our format is generally get together and watch the video, about 15 minutes at the most, and then begin a discussion. Most of these have good study guides.

    One of the most successful series we used has been the Nooma series. They are done with high quality (which is important to churched and unchurched collegiate students) and speak to a basic issue. We then take the topic and craft a discussion around it. I highly recommend them. :)
     
  4. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
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    I've used both Bluefish.tv, Nooma, and Andy Stanley before - our issue is that we don't currently have a place to show videos, considering we're outside! (it's Florida, so it's not TOO cold during winter times.)

    I definitely agree with you about keeping the groups small! I'm currently thinking of having about four separate groups (whether to keep the same groups each week or mix-and-match each week is something yet to be determined...) and using art as a medium to discuss the Sermon on the Mount, allowing us to focus primarily on Scripture. For example, using art to describe the various descriptions in the Beatitudes (meek, poor in spirit, peacemakers, etc.), or having our Asian students teach us how to write different Chinese characters to lead into a discussion about how important "jots" and "tittles" are.

    My only issue with various subsets separated is that I do want the non-Christians to be around our stronger Christ-followers. It's good for both groups, I think.
     

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