Spend Lent reading the Bible with friends! Sign up for free streaming of Genesis to Jesus and invite a small group of friends to watch with you. Here are some tips for confidently and successfully hosting a fruitful study.
The first step in leading any Bible study is always to bathe your efforts in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to use you for the glory of God and to bless the study. Consider asking others to intercede for you and the participants of the study.
Catholic Bible study is a spiritual, intellectual, and ecclesial undertaking. And it involves real spiritual warfare. “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Don’t be unarmed as you go into battle.
Choose a Good Time and Location
Ask yourself who you are targeting as study participants: stay-at-home moms, teens, a men’s group? Tailor your study to your audience by arranging a convenient time and place to draw together your intended demographic.
Be creative in your timing. For example, some Journey Through Scripture studies are offered at the same time as religious education classes for children. This arrangement allows for parents to attend a Bible study instead of simply waiting for their children’s class to finish.
Location is a key factor, so make it convenient and comfortable so that people will want to stay and participate. Make sure everyone can see and hear the video.
Spread the Word
Lent is less than a month away, so start inviting friends now to give them enough time to commit. Who should you invite? Start with a small group of five or six friends. It’s OK if not everyone knows each other well—just create a warm and welcoming environment, and everyone will have a good time.
If you feel called to lead a larger study at your parish, you can download the editable poster at journeythroughscripture.com. Print as many as you like and ask permission to post them throughout the parish and/or insert them in the parish bulletin.
Participant Workbooks are certainly not required, but they will help each member of the group get the most out of the study. Let your group know that they can get their workbooks at StPaulCenter.com if they’d like to order.
Take some time before each lesson to prepare by reading through the notes so you’re familiar with what’s coming. Read the answers to the review questions in this leader guide. Preparation doesn’t just include personal preparation, though. It’s also wise to check your equipment ahead of time to make sure everything is working smoothly before people arrive.
Plan in some social time with refreshments if you can. Snacks need to be neither elaborate nor expensive. There is something quasi-sacramental about eating together: it is a family activity and, gathered as the Church, that’s what we are. This also affords participants an opportunity to get to know each other, which is a very valuable and, in some areas, difficult-to-achieve part of parish life.
Start on Time
This teaches the people who come late to arrive on time the following week and doesn’t punish those who show up on time. The study group leader should wait around for a bit after the session is over. This will give people who may have been afraid to speak up in front of others a chance to ask a question.
Read the Bible
Encourage participants to bring a Bible to the study. Genesis to Jesus uses the Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition for all Scripture references that are not directly from the liturgy.
The Leader Guide provides opening and closing prayers, introductions and conclusions, answers to review questions, reflections, and more.