My wife and I recently launched a new Bible study group at our church. Almost a dozen adults gathered for the first meeting of this fledgling group! Since then we have grown to over 30 group members with an average attendance of 15.
When we were talking about starting this new group, we made a decision to use the Daily Discipleship Guide (DDG) from the Bible Studies for Life series produced by Lifeway. Why choose the Daily Discipleship guide? Here are six reasons I launched my new group with it as our primary discipleship tool:
- It is discussion-centered. I love the five great discussion questions that are a part of this series. Every study begins with a tremendous icebreaker question—one that gets the group talking, and one with no wrong answer (which encourages everyone to speak up more during the study and take a chance on answering the other questions that are asked). Plus, I don’t want the Bible study to be about me and what I say or do—I want the Bible study to be about what the group does, says, and thinks. Of course I study and prepare, and I fully guide my group’s study, but I don’t have to do all the talking.
- It engages the group members during the Bible study. The DDG has engaging images, in-group activities, and fill-in-the-blanks that engage logical, visual, physical, and relational learners.
- It provides five daily studies that tie to the group’s study. This is my favorite new feature in this resource! Once I lead the group’s Bible study, my group members have an opportunity to dig a little deeper in the days that follow. After the group Bible study ends, there are several pages that include daily Bible studies connecting to the biblical text we studied together as a group. Our group studies now align with my group member’s “God and me” time during the week. The daily studies expand on and reinforce what we studied as a group.
- The six-session studies are compelling and engaging. I don’t have to create new Bible studies every week on my own. I love the way Lifeway’s experts have carefully crafted each study along with the teaching resources I need to deliver a quality Bible study every week. The topics hit adults where they live and engage them in Bible study.
- The teaching plan is a part of the DDG. The group plan is built into the back of each Daily Discipleship Guide. Everyone in the group is now a potential teacher, substitute, or apprentice teacher. Savvy group leaders will identify a person or two with potential to be future group leaders (or subs and apprentices right now) to follow along in the group plan section, watching to see how the leader uses the teaching plan ideas in the group. I want these individuals to see that they could follow the same teaching plan to teach our group or a group of their own. The goal is for them to say, “Since I have the same teaching plan my leader does, I could do this!”
- The Bible Studies for Life series is based around the eight signposts of discipleship. Research has demonstrated there are eight signposts, or indicators, that people are on the right pathway and are growing as disciples. Every year, Bible Studies for Life has eight six-session studies. Each of the 8 studies is centered around one of the eight signposts of discipleship. If I simply continue using Bible Studies for Life in my group, I will expose my group members to the core ways that God’s people grow and mature as disciples. That’s huge!
I’m proud to place this excellent resource in the hands of every group member and our guests. If you want to have free access to four sessions of the Daily Discipleship Guide, click here.
Other than serving as the manager for Lifeway’s ongoing adult Bible studies and as the Director of Sunday School, Ken is an 18-year church education staff leader and blogs regularly about Sunday School and groups ministry at kenbraddy.com.