The Essentials for Starting a Home Bible Study Ministry
The home Bible study ministry is vital for every church. Even in the New Testament, churches were often made up of a handful of people (some scholars suggest that it could be 15-25 people) and they would be spread throughout multiple locations in a given area. Thus, there could be a handful of churches throughout an area with multiple members in each one. This, of course, is drastically different from today’s megachurches. Although going to a megachurch is in no way sinful, there is much utility in attending a smaller group, too.
In addition to early churches, even Jesus modeled a smaller number of people by choosing only twelve disciples. It creates a more intimate atmosphere where people get to know each other in a deeper way, which definitely helps in better discipleship. If a church is large, I strongly recommend starting some form of home Bible study ministry to help in discipleship and creating a smaller feel to the church. If it’s already a small church, they can be sure to truly know one another and work towards discipline and bearing one another’s burdens. Here are the essentials for starting a home Bible study ministry:
1. Have at least one person dedicated to starting it and running it
If there is not at least one passionate person involved in creating the home Bible study ministry, it will never really take off. Having a point man ensures that the ministry will be taken care of and that somebody will be on top of any logistical needs that may arise. If at all possible, it is great if an elder, deacon, or layperson within the church can be this person so that a Pastor does not need to add an additional responsibility (unless, of course, they are being hired specifically for that or agree they can handle it).
2. Get people excited about it
If a home Bible study ministry is new to the church, it is a good idea to tell them exactly why it is being created. It cannot be assumed that the entire congregation knows the benefits of having this ministry, so don’t be afraid to tell them plainly. Whether this is through a sermon series, announcements, or some type of written materials, the point is that the congregation is aware of why they should get involved. In doing this, they will be more apt to get involved and even get excited about doing it. In turn, leaders can be raised up and people can begin signing up to host at a specific location and be praying about the ministry.
3. Have a clear direction
Once logistics are set in place, it’s important to have a clear direction, or even curriculum set in place so that everyone is on the same page with how the ministry groups will be run. If there are numerous groups, this becomes even more important! Will you be going through books of the Bible? Will you be reading through a devotional or study guide type of book? Will there be a message given, or just a discussion based group? When all of these questions are asked, the ministry begins to take more shape and ideas can start coming in. Without this type of direction, people may be confused as to what the purpose of the group is and teachers can be confused as to what they should be doing to lead the groups. Before the ministry officially launches, it’s vital that key leaders agree on the vision for it and that it’s something that will be completely focused upon the Gospel. If not, the groups can easily just be a social activity for those inside of the church. Is that what you want the ministry to be?
There are great materials out there in how to run a home Bible study ministry, how to start ministries, and even on leadership. These things are readily accessible and should be utilized frequently. However, nothing replaces the wisdom found within the Word of God. Let the Scriptures be your guide. Although it may not give you exact instructions on how to logistically set things up and run everything, it will give you wisdom in how to do it all and strength to get through complications. Plus, it keeps the focus on Jesus-which every ministry should be doing!
From: www.christianmediamagazine.com web site. January 2015
The above article, “The Essentials for Starting a Home Bible Study Ministry” was written by Michael Krauszer. The article was excerpted from www.christianmediamagazine.com
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.”