Have you ever thought about starting a bible study with some of your friends but didn’t know where to begin? Or, perhaps you don’t’ think you can do it. That’s how every bible study leader felt before they taught their first Bible Study. To help you out – here are 10 Steps to Start a Women’s Bible Study Group.
If you are thinking about this, then you probably have some friends who are wanting to study the Bible also. If you have never led one before, it can appear to be a daunting task. It really isn’t. All that is required is some faith and preparation. You just need to take a chance. Your friends will understand and pitch in to help because they aren’t expecting perfection. However, you also want to honor God in by doing your best.If you have never led a Bible Study before, you will want to partner with someone experienced. Co-leading is very common because it allows flexibility for the leaders and a chance to take a break if needed. Click To Tweet
If you are considering starting a study at your church, you will want to have a little more preparation and discuss your ideas with your Women’s Ministry Leader, or whoever is overseeing that ministry. They will want to approve your materials and your plan. Also, if you have never done this before, you will want to partner with someone experienced. Co-leading is very common because it allows flexibility for the leaders and a chance to take a break if needed.
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Leaders are never perfect. For a small group Bible Study, you don’t need to have all the answers to everyone’s spiritual questions because you will seek them as a group. This is what helps the group to grow together. So where do you start?
Step One – Pray
You have probably already been doing that – telling God that you can’t do this while He says you can! It’s OK to be a little tentative if you’ve never done it before. With or without experience, every Bible Study leader needs lots of prayer. Pray about each point below and let the Holy Spirit lead.
Philippians 4:6 TPT, “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,”
Step two – Find your purpose
What is the purpose of the group? Yes, to study the Bible but, to narrow it down, are you trying to learn more about a book of Bible, a topic in the Bible, or a subject like being a better wife, Proverbs 31, or being a better Mother? Your purpose will determine what type of materials you need.If this is the first time you have started and/or led a Bible Study, it would be good to begin with something you are at least slightly familiar with. Something simple like a shorter study on increasing your prayer life or the life of… Click To Tweet
If this is the first time you have started and/or led a Bible Study, it would be good to begin with something you are at least slightly familiar with. Something simple like a shorter study on increasing your prayer life or the life of Ruth might be easier to get started with.
Step Three – Determine Your Style
Will this be a casual group held at someone’s house? Or, will be at a church and be somewhat more formal? Are you just meeting for coffee and a 15-minute Bible Study with lots of discussion? Or, will there be long periods of prayer which would require a more private setting?
You may already have an idea of the type of setting you and your friends are most comfortable in. You might meet at a coffee shop one week and a park the next. Also, this decision can be changed after you get started. It’s entirely possible that your 3-week study on becoming a Prayer Warrior, turns into a longer commitment on another subject.
Let Your Style Evolve
Your style can evolve but have an idea of what it will be like. Your style will probably determine where you do your study and what type of subjects you tackle. If you have a group of brand new Christians, you don’t want a serious, in-depth study of the Book of Revelation!
Step Four – Who Will Attend?
Who will you invite? You may already know who will be there but, are you open to having others attend? If so, who?
If you don’t have a group you are already tossing the idea around with, then who are you going to invite and how will you invite them? Maybe you know some ladies who are new to your church and you want to invite them. How will you do that?
If this is a casual group for friends, you will still need to invite them after you set a starting date. Before you set the date, decide who you would like to invite and how you will invite them. Why? Because your invitation needs to be one that makes them want to attend.
Walking by them at church and taking a moment to say, “Hey – I’m starting a Bible Study at my house next Monday morning at 10 and I’d love to have you come – call me,” might not be the best way to invite a brand new attendee. That would work for a close friend but, even then, everyone appreciates knowing that they are important and that you truly want them to be there.
Take the time to make the invitation special. After that, you can text or private message them but start out with the special invite, especially for those you don’t know as well. Even your best friend will appreciate the special touch.
Step Five – How Many Will Attend?
The number attending has many variables. If you are meeting at a church, you might be able to have a larger group. However, most of the time 10-15 people are the best. Even a smaller group of only 5 or 6 is wonderful. The point of the group is quality, not quantity. You need enough people to keep the conversation moving and few enough so that everyone gets a chance to share. Anything over 15 becomes difficult since there will be some who simply shrink back and don’t participate.
Step Six – Where Will You Meet?
If you are meeting in a home, then you will need to have some discussion with the hostess. There are several decisions you will need to make:
- Will children be attending?
- If so, will you have child care or will the children be in the room with you? This will make a difference in what you do and how you do it.
- If you are meeting in a public place, you will need to contact them to find out if there is a suitable room and what the cost might be.
- Also, if you are in a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop, how will you handle children?
If possible, it is good to be able to meet without children in attendance. This decision may be the ultimate factor in what time you meet. If all the attendee’s children are in school, then this may be a daytime meeting or a weekend meeting. If the children are very young, then perhaps daycare is an option with everyone chipping in to help cover the cost – even those who don’t’ have children. Usually, everyone is happy to do this. Here are some options:
- Nursing babies only
- Preschoolers only
- No children
- Hire someone to watch the children at the location of the Study
- Attendees take turns watching the preschoolers.
- Attendees all chip in to cover the cost of childcare.
- Kids are part of the Study
Step Seven – Decide on Your Subject and Resources
Once you decide what your subject is you need to look at how everyone will obtain it. Is it an online study that each participant can get for free? Or, is it a book everyone will need to purchase ahead of time? Here is an example of a Bible Study each woman can purchase. It is available from Christian Book and the cost is $11.49. It is reasonably priced and easily available.
Awaken: 90 Days with the God Who Speaks
By Priscilla Shirer / B&H Books
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All of these things are related to your starting date. If everyone has to buy a book, then you’ll need to give them enough time to purchase it. If it’s a free download or an online study, you can start sooner. Below, you will find a list of resources for inexpensive or free Bible Studies from a variety of sources.
You could also do something different like a Bible Journaling Group. For that type of group, each person would need to know that they would need to purchase a Journaling/Coloring Bible and some pens. Those don’t have to be expensive and you find some resources in The Shoppe. Go to Bibles for Women. If you are not familiar with Bible journaling read this Bible Journaling for Beginners.
/This beautiful Bible from Christian Book has over 400 illustrations. Start a Bible Journaling Group at your Church or Home. Buy it in The Shoppe in Bibles for Women.
Here is what you’ve done so far:
- Prayed and made a decision to step out and start.
- Determined your purpose and the subject that matches it.
- Figured out the group style and what type of meeting place would be most appropriate.
- Chosen a few people to invite and decided on how you will invite them.
- Decided on a topic and how to get the required Study materials.
Step Eight – What Additional Resources Will You Need?
If the study will be in someone’s home, you will need to figure out refreshments and the supplies needed for that. Also, you might want to have some extra paper, pencils, markers, a bible, etc., for those who might forget.
If this is an online study that you listen to as a group, you will need a television or a very large computer screen and enough chairs for everyone to sit and see.
It’s possible to do a very simple and free bible study online. Everyone can watch it before they come, write out their thoughts and questions at home, and then the leader can have a few questions ready to get the conversation started. The group can then share their thoughts, struggles, impressions, etc. Often, the simplest is the best.
Step Nine – Keep it Simple
Simplicity allows you, as the leader, to focus on the individuals, rather than being overwhelmed by the subject matter. This is particularly important if you don’t have much experience in leading.
Once you know what materials are needed for the study, you can include that information in your invitation. They will need a Bible, something to write on, a pen or pencil, a highlighter if they can, and any printed materials required for the study – a book, a printed outline, etc. If your study is about Bible Journaling then they will need a Journaling Bible and some pens of some sort.
Step Ten – You’re Almost There
You now know when and where you want to meet and what materials will be needed. There are some decisions you might not make until your first meeting. You might need to have the first meeting in a home and then decide on the permanent day, time, and where to meet. You need to have information on options available.
However you do it, include the basic information in your lovely invitation. Your starting date should be within 2-3 weeks of sending out the invitations. If you send them out two months ahead, people may forget. If you only give them a week, they may not be able to make arrangements for child care or whatever they need in order to attend.
Send out your invitations or email them with a prayer, remembering that God will bring in the people He knows need to be there. It may start small and grow so don’t judge your success by numbers. Invite 10 and, if 5 come, rejoice! If 12 come, sing hallelujah and grab a few more chairs!
How To Lead
That’s what we will talk about next week, how to lead a small group or women’s bible study. It’s not rocket science and anyone who really wants to help others can do it. A heart for God and His people is the primary pre-requisite!
Hopefully, you have attended some studies and been led by people you respected and trusted. The people you lead want the same thing. Here is an old saying that is totally true – People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. That’s really what matters – caring about and for others. If they know you honestly care about them as people, they won’t expect you to be able to read the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic! So, relax and just love them, doing your best to lead them to be more like Jesus.
Here are the 10 Steps to Start a Women’s Bible Study:
- Pray – about what God wants you to do and submitting yourself to His will.
- Decide on the purpose of the Study. You may do this alone or with a group who might be attending, but ultimately, one person has to make a decision.
- Decide on the style of the group – casual, formal, outside, in a home, etc.
- Start of a list of those you would like to have in attendance.
- Set a maximum number of attendees.
- Determine where you will meet. This will be partially determined by your subject, the type of attendees, and availability.
- Make a final decision on the exact resource you will be using.
- Make a list of the resources needed – supplies like cups, plates, etc., for the location and supplies the individuals will need to bring and purchase.
- Keep it simple.
- Mail out your invitations, send your emails, or do your personal invitations 2-3 weeks prior to starting.
Those are the 10 Steps to Start a Women’s Bible Study Group. You are probably thinking that you would really like to know how to prepare yourself. We will talk about that next week!
God Gives You What You Need As You Step Out in Faith
In the meantime, prayerfully review these steps. If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly in the midst of making a decision about stepping out in faith to do this. What I can tell you for sure, is that you can do it if God is asking. He never asks unless He intends to give you all you need to fulfill His purposes.
2 Peter 1:1-4 TPT, “This letter is from Simeon Peter, a loving servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to those who have been given a faith as equally precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. May grace and perfect peace cascade over you as you live in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature, by which you have escaped the corrupt desires that are of the world.”
Rest in God’s promise to you that you already have everything you need for life and complete devotion to Him. I have included a free list of Bible Study Resources. Some are online. Others can be downloaded for free using the links provided. Others must be purchased but the links are provided.
If you need help in any way, please email me here:
See you next week and God Bless!
**We use verses from different Bible translations.To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit our Scripture Citations.