Glorifying God Through Sports

How To Lead A Team Bible Study

By January 18, 2019 February 6th, 2019 No Comments

There is a direct correlation between an individual’s stagnant, immature faith, and the lack of time they devote to reading the Bible. A team Bible study can be one of the most effective ways you can help create a new culture on your team. But leading one of these groups can be scary and intimidating. I want to help demystify the team Bible study by giving you a few simple tracks to run down.

  1. Let people know about it. Put the day, time, and location on the board in the locker room. Send out an email to the team. Make sure everyone knows it exists. Then, individually invite your teammates. Personally asking them creates a higher likelihood for them to come. It may feel a little awkward, especially if they decline your invitation. Get over it. Eternity is at stake.
  2. Be consistent. Have your study on the same day, at the same time, and at the same location every week. If you are constantly changing times and places, it will confuse your teammates. Confusion is a barrier for them showing up! Make it as easy as possible for them by keeping the schedule the same.
  3. Show up and stay there. If your Bible study is on Monday nights from 7-8, get there at 6:50 and stay there until 8—even if you are the only one that shows up.
  4. All you need is one other person. If one teammate shows up, start the bible study with them. Don’t sulk and make comments like, “Well, I guess we’re the only ones,” or “I wish more people would have come.” Be excited! God has a plan for this person—and for you.
  5. Read the Bible. Don’t overcomplicate a Bible study. Study the Bible. Work your way through one of the Gospels. Do a chapter each week. Read the chapter out loud and then talk through some simple questions. What stands out to you in this chapter? Is there anything that confuses you? Did we learn anything about God’s character in this chapter? What questions do you have as we read through that? What do you think we can apply today from what we read?
  6. Be okay with not having all the answers. One of the big fears for anyone leading a Bible study is being asked a question and not knowing the answer. It is perfectly okay to not have all the answers. In fact, your teammates will appreciate that about you. When faced with a tough question, just respond by saying “That’s a great question and honestly I’m not sure how to answer it. Does anybody else want to take a stab at it?” If nobody advances the conversation, assure the individual that you will do some research and get back to them next week.
  7. Be okay with silence. What if nobody talks?! Sometimes, when there is silence people feel uncomfortable or don’t know what to say. Often, however, people just need time to think and process. Silence can be productive. After you ask a question, count to ten slowly in your head as you wait for a response. If nobody responds, ask if it would be helpful if you rephrased the question.
  8. Make one point. One of the mistakes Bible study leaders make is trying to cram too much material into one study. Think back to the last time you went to church, how much of the sermon do you remember? Probably very little. The Bible study is not your opportunity to knowledge dump on your unsuspecting teammates. Don’t overwhelm them. Find one major theme in the text and keep bringing them back to it.
  9. Be okay with rabbit trails. Although your goal is to have one main takeaway, be ok with rabbit trails your teammates want to go down. At the end of the day, the Bible study is for them. If they ask a question that is not relevant to what you are trying to do, feel the freedom to move in that direction. God may be up to something different than what you had planned.
  10. Pray. Don’t neglect this. It may just be the most powerful thing that happens in the study. Bookend the Bible study with prayer. As you finish up, ask for prayer requests from your teammates—and then pray for them according to their requests. The following week, ask them about the particular area in their life that you prayed about.
Brian Smith

Author Brian Smith

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