You’ve finally made it to small group! You’ve had a busy week but managed to study your lesson sufficiently and feel really prepared. You get in your group and begin asking about how everyone’s week was. Someone has a story that’s pretty interesting, so you listen up.
Then you look at your watch and realize you’re 30 minutes into your meeting time and haven’t even started the lesson!
You get students to open their Bibles, read the passage, ask a question or two, and then it’s time to dismiss.
Obviously that’s not the best approach to student small group Bible study.
Here’s the deal…and trust me, I understand: You’re trying to balance getting to know your students and hear what is important to them and how their week has gone, with teaching them the Bible and how it applies to their life.
Let me try to impress something on you. Your students will have several outlets during the week to talk about what’s going on in their lives. Your students probably do not have several opportunities to study the Bible and hear how their lives can be changed by the God who made them and loves them.
When trying to balance fellowship with Bible study, always lean more towards Bible study. This is your time to teach. If you feel like you’re not invested in the lives of your students, plan a hangout after church. Go eat at a restaurant or catch a movie.
But when it’s small group time, teach the Word. It’s the most important thing you can do with your time!
Here are some tips to making sure you have enough time to teach:
- Save fellowship time for after the lesson. Really, make it a big deal! Bust out some donuts or candy. Celebrate the community! But after the Bible study is over.
- When someone brings up a rabbit trail (any topic that has NOTHING to do with the lesson), ask if you can talk about it later and then move on.
- Talk before the lesson but set a timer on your phone to go off after a set amount of time (7-10 minutes). Then get to Bible Study!