In this series we’re exploring how to lead dynamic small groups for the sake of the student world. Below is adapted from a chapter in the new workbook Small Groups: Big Mission.
When I joined a small group as a new believer I knew some Sunday-school level bible knowledge. It felt a bit intimidating going into an established group of believers who I thought knew way more than I did. In reality I was pleasantly surprised. When we looked at the bible, it wasn’t one person teaching everyone else and correcting all the wrong perspectives (there were certainly some weird views!), but an exploration of a passage where each person was encouraged to bring a contribution.
Variety is key when it comes to bible studies, as everyone has their own preferred learning style. This means that in small groups we should be learning in different ways, the three main areas being visual, audio and kinesthetic.
However, whilst people prefer to learn in different ways, hearing has 20% retention, seeing has 40% retention, and doing has 80% retention. With that in mind, in Small Groups: Big Mission you can find a range of ideas for interactive learning, including:
Recalling the Story
Read the bible passage through once with different people taking different verses. Then close your bibles and retell the story between the group.
Place someone in the centre of a group and the rest of the group can ask questions based on the topic. A safe environment is needed for this one, or a more mature or confident person could be invited in who might be relevant for a topic discussion.
These could be scenarios where a situation is made up which people then discuss or solve. These are good for getting people to think about certain issues and putting the theory into a practical environment.
It is important to keep switching up the bible study, so people remain expectant and alert- we don’t want to go away simply having learnt a piece of scripture, but studied in a way that provokes response. Not rushing, but allowing time at the end for prayer and accountability as a response to what’s been looked at in your small group, is a great idea to follow Jesus’ example of putting what we know into practice.
Our new workbook Small Groups: Big Mission is out now. We recommend going through the content with leaders and students. The Fusion team deliver small group training empowered by the Holy Spirit, prayer and dynamic content from the workbook.