You are now at part four of the 4-part “Choosing a Bible Study” series. In this series, I’m showing you how to choose the next Bible Study for yourself or for your group. If you missed the other posts in the series, then you best be catchin’ up. You can check those out here.
>>In this post, I showed you some questions to ask and some general things to consider as you choose a Bible Study for yourself or for a group. I suggested that you choose a scripted Bible Study, not someone’s popular book, and that you make sure it uses the inductive method: observation, interpretation, application. You also need to choose a study that matches your familiarity with studying the Bible and that interests you so you will want to do it.
>>In this post, I described the Joyful Walk Bible Studies available from my website. Details included the Bible content covered by each study, the theme of each study, what you can expect to learn, and the number of lessons included.
>>In this post, I spoke to anyone who is new to the Bible—whether or not you have been a Christian for a while. The whole thought of reading and studying the Bible won’t be as daunting if you start with studies designed especially for anyone new to the Bible, like the Graceful Beginnings books.
Now, onto today’s topic!
Are you still feeling a bit hesitant about leading a study?
Is the temptation to get a video-driven study strong because it sounds so much easier?
But, is it the best thing for your group?
Wonderful gifted teachers have made their messages available through Bible Studies that have accompanying videos. You can always learn something from gifted Bible teachers. But, when it comes to choosing a Bible Study for yourself or for your group, here are some questions to ask and things to consider before choosing a study that requires watching a video to complete it:
Question #1: Does the study lead everyone to dig into the Bible for themselves?
If a video-driven study depends on you getting most of the “truth” through viewing the video, the accompanying lessons may lack adequate questions covering the passage or topic. This kind of study makes it easy for anyone to become lazy at personal Bible Study and just depend on getting spoon-fed by a gifted teacher.
So, look at the personal study portion to see if it covers the passage well. Is the personal Bible study time actual study of the Bible according to the inductive process? Or, does it contain mostly thought and reflection questions?
Can someone learn from the Bible passage through the study without watching the video at all? If yes, sounds like it might be a good study. If no, avoid it.
The video should be like “icing on the cake” not the cake itself.
Question #2: Will the cost for purchasing the videos and books be easily shared by the group members?
Video-driven studies are convenient but can be expensive. You must still purchase a workbook for every participant plus acquire access to the videos.
Question #3: Will the technology be a frustration for you?
You must depend on technology to work perfectly every time to watch videos. Will that be a challenge for you? Will it fluster you if showing the video doesn’t work during your group time?
Question #4: Will watching the videos limit group interaction if time is short? Or, can group members watch the videos on their own?
It is very hard to find a video-driven study that can be used in an hour or less during a typical lunch hour at work or during an evening study at the end of a hard work day. The videos are generally too long to allow for much group discussion at all.
It’s hard to build community when you are just watching someone else talk. And, watching a video together is not a good substitute for interaction within the group.
Can the group members watch the videos on their own time through an app or website and then share what they learned during group time? This is the better way when it comes to building community within the time limits that you have.
Question #5: As leader, will you feel restricted to focus your discussion on whatever is taught in the video?
You will learn a lot more about the Bible and God by digging into a lesson yourself and preparing it to lead others in discussion. You can also focus on what your particular group needs the most from the study. Again, look at the personal study portion to see if it covers the passage well.
KEY: THE VIDEO SHOULD BE LIKE “ICING ON THE CAKE” NOT THE CAKE ITSELF.
One Final Caution
When your group becomes dependent on video-driven studies, you no longer have motive or incentive to give opportunity and training to your own women to become Bible study leaders and writers or to become speakers themselves. We need to constantly grow new leaders in our churches.
GO FOR IT
So, go for a Bible study that will encourage the group members to feed themselves from the Word of God, that will build community within the group during the time allowed, and that will help you to become more dependent on Jesus to lead them. It’s a win-win for everyone—you, your group, and Jesus.
Yes, leading a group of women through a Bible study is hard and scary. But, that’s a good thing because you will depend on Jesus more. It’s okay to say, “Lord Jesus, I do not feel confident leading a Bible study group. But, I will let You do that through me. I am willing to learn from You and depend on You as I do this.” Then, watch what He does!
Remember to ask Jesus to help you choose a Bible study for yourself or for a group. Depend on Him to show you what to do. He is faithful!
Author: Melanie Newton
Melanie Newton helps women learn how to study the Bible for themselves through her Joyful Walk Bible Studies. She also teaches online courses for anyone to grow their Bible-teaching skills to help others—all with the goal of getting to know Jesus more along the way. She has lots of resources available on her website melanienewton.com for you to use in your life and ministry. Melanie believes that it’s always the right time for a Dr. Pepper, that her family is the greatest, and being outside for even a few minutes is a daily necessity. Woohoo!