by Deborah Spooner
Yesterday was the day.
While the first week of September means Labor Day plans for many, many overlook September 6th: National Read a Book Day.
Read a book day? Yes. If we want to lead, we need to read. If we want to grow, we need to read. If we want to bring others deeper into God’s Word, we have to digest words ourselves. After all, a key way God gave us His message was through the written Word itself.
What would reading specifically targeted studies do for you, your group leaders, and your groups? We often miss out as we chose and read studies, but we can make a change. Be intentional as you use studies to…
- Develop your group leaders.
You have your leaders leading studies; yet are you prioritizing developing them as not only group leaders, but also followers of Christ? With a little more intentionality, you can help prepare your leaders to maximize their time with the group. When they’re better at what they do, they can better guide others.
This developing is simple. Help develop their understanding of why groups and classes matter through studies such as Allan Taylor’s Sunday School Matters: 12 Matters that Matter to Your Church. Fuel their passion for their role as mentor through studies such as Chuck Lawless’s Mentor: How Along-the-Way- Discipleship Will Change Your Life.
- Equip others to engage with culture.
Culture. It’s a buzzword, but we often get caught in the buzz and don’t engage the world around us deeply through our words. We share opinions, but are we sharing strategies and tactics to both truthfully and lovingly engage real people in real places? If we are not intentional in equipping our groups to engage, they will turn elsewhere to learn how.
We can constructively discuss social and political issues through studies such as Russell Moore’s Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. We can delve deeper into issues such as sexual immorality and abortion through David Platt’s Counter Culture.
- Catalyze groups to rethink the mundane.
What if ordinary was actually opportunity? People in our groups can become so disillusioned with life’s daily tasks that we miss what life could (and is) able to be. Daily can mean daily opportunities to make a difference, and each moment is a chance to not only serve but also to actually be happy.
Start shifting perspectives through delving into how we can, regularly, make acts of service a part of life’s rhythms in Tony Merida’s Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down. Uncover how, each day, God doesn’t even just want us to be happy but also commands it through Randy Alcorn’s Happiness: God’s Invitation to Delight, Celebration, and Joy.
Reading matters. Not just on National Read a Book Day, but every day. Targeting specific, often underemphasized areas to read and study might just even bring more growth to your group than you think.
Deborah Spooner is a Minnesota-born analytical creative serving as a Marketing Strategist for Lifeway’s Groups Ministry. As a pastor’s daughter with a background in Digital Communications and Media and Biblical & Theological Studies, you can find her at her local church, in deep conversation, or with a book or pen in hand as she seeks to know Christ more and make Him known.