By Thom S. Rainer
Many education ministers, small-group leaders and adult Sunday school coordinators use the lull of summer to find new Bible study material and prepare to launch their ministries in the fall. Vision, preparation and goal setting are essential for a successful fall kick off. At LifeWay, we are excited to see so many churches place a high emphasis on Bible study in small group settings.
According to LifeWay’s Transformational Discipleship research, one of the five items most predictive of higher overall spiritual maturity among Protestant churchgoers is more frequent attendance of adult small groups such as Sunday school, Bible study, life groups, adult Bible fellowships, etc. Involving your people in the study of the Scriptures within community is essential to spiritual transformation.
As you think about planning for the launch of your fall Bible study classes, consider getting all your adult groups or classes on the same page. It creates momentum and energy when the entire church is moving in the same direction. Learning is accelerated and unity is increased. And as a leader you know your people are being developed with intentionality over time. If you want the people in your classes or groups to see how the Bible meets their lives, right where they are, I recommend LifeWay’s new Bible Studies for Life.
Fall is the perfect time to launch new classes or groups. Studies show new classes or groups connect more unconnected people than existing ones. How many new groups did you launch last year? This year try to surpass that number. Set a goal and go for it.
We designed Bible Studies for Life to help you more easily launch new groups or classes in your church. The lessons teach one main point, come with great leader tools including a new video resource from the authors, and are enhanced with interactive personal study guides.
Here are just a few elements in the new Bible Studies for Life that can help your church launch strong this fall.
Bible Studies for Life’s simple teaching plans are great for new leaders. You can’t start new groups without leaders. Recruiting new leaders is often a frustration for church staff and one of the main reasons churches don’t start new groups. Each lesson is built around one point—something any new teacher can navigate. The easy-to-use plans, side-by-side commentary and engaging topics help new leaders feel successful. And it will help you champion their ministry.
Bible Studies for Life’s teaching plans are great for time-compressed leaders. Your experienced teachers will also appreciate the preparation tools, which makes planning quicker and easier.
Bible Studies for Life is crafted to be “environment neutral.” Bible Studies for Life can be used on your church campus or in homes, as well as at coffee shops, restaurants and workplaces. Your student pastor can use Bible Studies for Life during a DNow event or create a six-week Wednesday night series. Bible Studies for Life is not just for Sunday morning classes. It is transferable to other venues. Use it for discipleship classes, small groups, men’s studies, women’s studies, or a special emphasis class.
The priority is first and foremost to focus people on Christ and root them in the Scripture. As you are launching strong this fall, whether with groups on the church property or in someone’s living room, find the resource that makes it easy for leaders to lead, people to connect and believers to be discipled. After all, as a pastor, that’s what we want to do, apply all of the Bible to all of life.
Thom S. Rainer is president of LifeWay Christian Resources. Read more at thomrainer.com.