There the box sits. Inside is a special bicycle. The salesperson offered you no tips or help. He simple pointed to the words on the outside of the box that read, “Everything needed to assemble included.” You tear into the box. You go right past the assembly instructions and lay out all the parts and pieces. How hard can it be?
You put this bar in that tube. You attach this wire to that part of the frame. You tighten this bolt and that screw, but it’s just not coming together like you had hoped. After four hours of starting and restarting, out of frustration you call on your neighbor. His neighbor quickly gives you some specific tips and within 30 minutes, the bike is finally assembled. It would have been so much easier had you gotten those tips when you picked up the boxed bike.
Most of us would be upset at the salesperson for not giving the tips earlier. We would have expected more. The frustration this purchaser felt trying to figure out how to assemble the bike is similar to the frustration new Bible study leaders may experience as they prepare to lead a group for the first time. In many situations, they are simply handed a resource and told to do their best. Some are coached (like the neighbor next door that helped assemble the bike), but few are shown how to use the resources available. Bible study leaders are left to figure it out on their own, usually frustrating themselves and the groups they lead.
In his book Building Leaders, Aubrey Malphurs states it this way: “If we ask our people to lead any ministry of the church, we’re responsible to provide them with continual leadership training. If we can’t do this we have no business asking them to serve, doing both them and the ministry an injustice . . . . People are too important to be treated this way” (p. 27). We need to provide leaders with more than a box of tools. We also need to train them so they can use the tools to assemble a great Bible study group.
The new Explore the Bible Group Box includes all the tools a person would need to lead a Bible study group. But the person who recruited them needs to help them know how to use those tools. One way you can do this is by using the Conference Plan, provided below. The plan walks them though the steps needed to prepare to lead the first session using all the resources provided in the Group Box. You can be their hero neighbor who helps them assemble the pieces so they can enjoy the ride of leading a Bible study group.