Small study group ideas

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Woodymdt, May 23, 2009.

  1. Woodymdt

    Woodymdt
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    Good morning all,

    So glad to be back on here. I had taken a break from a lot of forums and internet groups but things have lagged a bit and I find some time to come back and fellowship with other believers.

    A question for those who will; We are praying and considering starting a small bible study group here at our home. Probably keep it small, 10-15 folks, and either one night per week or one night every other week...

    I was wondering if anyone has any tips or suggestions? I've been reading through some material concerning small group studies, but thought I would ask here if anyone has some experience with them.

    Thanks,

    Michael
     
  2. browes

    browes
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    I just finished reading, "Now That's a Good Question" from Standard Publishing. It is a book on how to lead quality Bible discussions. It's written well, and very practical. I bought mine from Amazon for about $8. I've read a few others but I like this one the best (so far).

    BTW, where are you in central Arkansas (if you don't mind me asking)? I live in Beebe and work in Little Rock.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    I've had plenty of experience with them. They can be terrific, though how conversational the group is matters.

    Ask twice as many questions as you normally think you should. Keep them open ended. I prefer doing heavily topical stuff, and also video driven (depending on age.) Keep everyone involved and don't spend tons of time (as the facilitator) talking to them but really draw them into conversation. Let them have hang out time before and after the study but keep to a healthy, and consistent schedule.

    Uh, childcare (I don't know if you're going to need it or not) is a hassle but can be a good way to teach service.

    I've enjoyed my time with a home based group. :)
     
  4. Jedi Knight

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    I agree with this......very good suggestions.:type:
     
  5. Servent

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    I got this yesterday from AFA.

    San Diego County officials shut down home Bible study‏
    From: <img id="P___869870806" webimdisplaystyle="inline" style="display: none;"> AFA Action Alert ([email protected]) Sent: Thu 5/28/09 12:48 PM To:
    AFA ActionAlert [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-2] Donald E. Wildmon
    Founder and
    Chairman [/SIZE][/FONT] ​
    [​IMG]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your entire e-mail list of family and friends. [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+2] San Diego County officials shut down home Bible study [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+1] County official interrogates pastor and his wife [/SIZE][/FONT]
    [​IMG] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=+1]May 28, 2009[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1] Dear Danny,
    [/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]A San Diego pastor and his wife have been told they cannot have a Bible study in their home. The couple says they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, then threatened with ever increasing fines if they refuse to stop the Bible study. (See news article here)
    According to the couple's attorney, they were questioned about the Bible study. "'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?" The pastor's wife replied, "Yes." "Do you say 'amen'?" the official asked. "Yes," she replied. "Do you pray?" Again she said, "Yes." "Do you say 'praise the Lord'?" Another "Yes." The official told the pastor and his wife they were in violation of county rules.
    The Bible study usually has an average of about 15 people.
    A few days later they got a written warning that listed the home Bible study an "unlawful use of land." They were notified to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit," which could cost them thousands of dollars.
    Could a small poetry club meet regularly in a home? Apparently, yes. What about a Cub Scout meeting? Evidently, yes. What if they meet regularly to watch Monday Night Football? Obviously, yes.
    [/SIZE][/FONT]



    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]
    [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
    #5 Servent, May 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2009
  6. Crabtownboy

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    I would suggest they get in touch with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. This sounds like an issue they would be willing to look into and side with the family.

    Also I bet the ACLU would defend their right to assembly.


    By the way, the definition of a small group is twelve people or less. If a group goes over twelve the entire dynamics of the group changes and it is no longer really a small group.

    I was very involved with small groups many years ago. I see them as one of the real hopes for Christianity in America.
     
  7. donnA

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    whose defination of small group?

    would that mean less then 12 cubscouts, less then 12 at a monday night football party?
    or just bible study?
    supporters of this are antibible study.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    First, talk to your pastor for his recommendations and suggestions about how to run it and what to talk about or study in it. Remember, small groups are an arm of the church, not a substitute for it, or an entity alongside it. In ours, we are discussing application of the previous Sunday's message. (For instance, this Sunday night, we will be discussing last Sunday morning's message.) Other churches will have different structures, or perhaps different types of groups studying different things. But ask your pastor for guidance.

    Second, as a resource, check out C. J. Mahaney's book on small groups. You can download a free copy at the Sovereign Grace website. It is an excellent resource on what small groups should be about, and how to conduct them.

    Third, make sure it doesn't become pooled ignorance. Control the conversation and direct it carefully. Remember, some people have bad opinions and bad doctrine. Don't let it get planted in your group. Handle it carefully and tactfully, but someone needs to a prepared teacher who knows right from wrong. Model a solid method of Bible study by the way that you lead the Bible study.
     
    #8 Pastor Larry, May 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2009
  9. gb93433

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    Depending on the group and maturity of the people I almost always have them prepare before they come. That way they can prepare throughout the week and come with something to share and ask questions about what they had trouble with. It keeps those who already knew the answers from dominating the group discussion. There are times when I ask someone to share who has not. In an effort to encourage the group I have each person every week share something from their devotional time. As the study goes on I have them memorize one verse each week. Before the actual study begin we have a short time of prayer that is focused on matters that pertain to the group.

    When I lead a Bible study I try to focused on discipleship and not filling people up with intellectual knowledge only. Some have troubles in feeling up to the task of a Bible study because they have never thought of themselves as good students. Part of the focus of the study is to give people tools so they can feed themselves not hand feed them everything.

    If the people are young or new in the faith or if they are not Christians I like to start with the Design For Discipleship series produced by Nav Press. Most of the studies I lead last for about two years. We become a group that cares for one another and the people learn to encourage one another. For example in one group I led one of the couples was struggling in their marriage. So we in a sense ganged up on them and sought to encourage them more by loving them. another person in the group had cancer at one time and was struggling financially and emotionally. That was 14 years ago. Even though all of have moved to other cities we regularly contact one another.

    While I am leading a Bible study I want to teach them discipline as well as give them tools so they can lead others. In effect my goal is to show the them how to lead by leading in such a way that they see the goal is not just about filling them up with intellectual knowledge but that they know they have something to give all of us and can do ministry.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    For ALL - We have "adult only" (NOT "x" rated!!) studies, as we are teaching men in the congregation to lead and direct them. Agree that "topical" is a good thing and we find a study sheet with some principles, comments and 15-20 questions is best.

    We allow more "lecture" and q/a time the first evening on a subject, then give sheet for all to take home and start to work thru. Then in subsequent weeks "flesh out" the topic and allow discussion.

    For WOMEN - We've found they love to do a book (read a chapter, underline and have questions/topics for discussion). Then meet over coffee (AWAY from kids) and share. A lot less "formal" and more open to sharing, touchy-feely sort of activity.

    We are a house church concept - grow to about 40 and then split into groups - so it is imperative to train men to be elders in new works. And we haved "small groups" within our "small group" of the congregation itself!
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    Exactly!:thumbs:
     
  12. Woodymdt

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    Thanks for the reply. I live in Jacksonville, work on the private side of the airport in Little Rock.

    Michael
     
  13. Woodymdt

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    Thank you all for your replies, gives us some avenues to look at.

    We have talked with our pastor and associate pastor about this briefly, and some other ideas that are being considered.

    We'll see where God leads us on this and report back some time.

    Michael
     
  14. Crabtownboy

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    Every book I have read on the Christian small group defines a small group as 12 or less. Did you ever consider why Jesus limited the disciples to the number 12?

    There are some who say up to 15, but the dynamics of the group changes radically if the group goes over 12.



     
    #14 Crabtownboy, Jun 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2009
  15. gb93433

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    In leading small groups I do not recommend that entire groups be made up of divorced people. I recommend a ratio of one divorced person for every married couple. Otherwise the focus of the group tends to shift towards issues surrounding divorce when they need to see healthy couples.
     
  16. Servent

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    County apologies for citing pastor's home Bible studiesAssociated Press - 6/4/2009 7:30:00 AM[​IMG]


    [​IMG]SAN DIEGO, CA - San Diego County has rescinded its citation and apologized to a pastor who was warned that he needed a permit to hold weekly Bible studies in his home.​


    David Jones and his wife Mary had been warned that they could be fined $100 to $1,000 if they held religious assemblies without a major use permit. (See earlier article)

    Their attorney, who argued that the Jones' constitutional rights were being violated, has now released two responses he received from San Diego County officials.

    A letter from the county attorney rescinds the citation and says the permit is not required.

    In a second letter, Chief Administrative Officer Walter Ekard apologizes and assures the couple that steps are being taken so that similar religious gatherings won't be issued citations in the future.


     

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