How to Host Your Own Home Bible Study
One of the things I love about church planting is the intimate fellowship it affords. Because we have no official church building, we often gather for worship and fellowship in homes.
For about six months, I’ve hosted a women’s Bible study in my home on Saturday mornings. And I’ve discovered that home Bible studies can soar.
Why? Home Bible studies are charming, disarming, and community driven.
When worship happens on comfy couches it speaks to our need to be close to the God who is our Dwelling place. When mentoring happens over the kitchen sink it speaks to our need to apply God’s Word to the everyday tasks set before us.
Fruitful, intimate Bible studies can happen in fellowship halls too. But homes are places of real life. So, it only makes sense to make them host to the worship of the One who created us for real life in Him.
How do you host a home Bible study? Here’s a few lessons I’ve learned along the way.
1. ENLIST ANOTHER TEACHER BESIDES YOURSELF
Let’s start with an honest confession – you can’t do it all. Performing both duties of hostess and teacher could set you up for burnout. If you want your study to be a door to the community, you’ll want to be free to welcome guests, serve when needed, and oversee details of the event.
So, do yourself a favor. Open your home up for the study and then enlist someone else to teach it! If that’s not a possibility, then secure a co-teacher or back-up leader.
2. PICK AN ENGAGING BIBLE STUDY
We’re blessed to worship in a day and country where we have an abundance of Bible study material. But I’m encouraging you to dig deeper than those best-selling video series.
Choose material that is biblically-centered. Not all the Bible studies at your local Christian bookstore are centered on God’s Word. How do you know? If they invoke any other authority besides the Word of God, you might want to rethink using it. Why is this a big deal? Only studies grounded firmly in the Living Word will yield real-life transformations!
Choose material that is challenging. Finding a balance between fluff and academic stuff can be difficult but necessary if you want to retain members throughout the course of your study. If a study is too easy, members won’t learn to dig into God’s Word and new teachers won’t be brought up. If a study is too challenging, members will lose heart (and interest) and drop out.
Choose material that is locally-led by a church member. Video-series are great and can be very captivating, but if your women’s ministry isn’t churning out any new Bible study teachers it might be time to rethink the studies you are choosing.
This year, I asked another church member (Kim Lenon of Living Inside Out) to walk through the 7 “I AM” statements Jesus made of himself in the book of John. It has proven to be incredibly challenging and engaging all year long. Plus, under Kim’s teaching, younger believers are learning first-hand how to dig into a passage of Scripture and apply it to their lives.
If no one in your church is capable or willing to write their own study, then find a study that is right for your group. Later this week, I’m recommending some great new studies by some new authors. So, stay tuned!
3. CROWD SOURCE YOUR BIBLE STUDY
In marketing, companies are utilizing crowd sourcing as a way to get their audience to connect with their brands. Crowd-sourcing is basically getting someone to take ownership of a product or idea. If you want to get your Bible study attendees to take ownership of your Bible study, then invite them to share in the various responsibilities of the event like signing up for food!
There are some great benefits to this method. First, you get great food! The ladies of our church plant can cook! At our study, we’ve enjoyed muffins, french toast, waffles and more! And second, if someone signed up to bring a dish, they are much more likely to actually attend the study.
Here are some more crowd-sourcing ideas:
* Designate a greeter to welcome and engage visitors
* Ask a woman to lead in prayer
* Find a tech-savvy member to compile prayer requests and communicate them to the group during the week
The point is to get as many women engaged in your home study than just you – the hostess!
Just because your church has a building doesn’t mean you always have to use it. Getting outside the walls of our church propels you into the community. It disarms potential visitors who might not otherwise feel comfortable in a church setting. And it invites true fellowship and builds an intimate spirit among the believers in your church.
It truly has been one of my favorite ministries so far.
The above article, “How to Host Your Own Home Bible Study” was written by Melissa Deming. The article was excerpted from www.hiveresources.com web site. December 2016.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”