Most of us need a safe place where we can practice something at which we want to improve. That may be others trying to improve as well, by ourselves working on the basics, or in the presence of a coach or mentor who can give us honest and constructive feedback. We really need all three and our Bible study groups serve as a place where everyone in the group can practice sharing with others about Jesus. Here are four things we can do to help the people in our groups improve.
Model it. Many people figure out how to do some tasks today by watching an online video. They may have written instructions in their possession, but watching someone else do the task gives them confidence. We can instill that same type of confidence by modeling how to tell our spiritual stories. We can share about how God brought us to Him, what He is teaching us now, and about our own journey.
Coach it. We need someone to give us tips that can help us improve in telling our spiritual stories, and that is where we as leaders come in. We can challenge them to consider a verse or wording that may help them better explain their point. We can help them know what to give more attention and less attention. When we do coach people, we need to approach them with humility, openness to learn from input they give in return, and in private.
Encourage it. We need to find ways of encouraging people to share with others about Jesus. For example, the Spring 2023 edition of the Explore the Bible Adult Daily Discipleship Guide included these instructions on page 59:
For many, one of the most effective methods of leading people to Christ is to simply tell about your experience with Him. That was what Mary Magdalene did. Who do you know that might be receptive to hearing about you experience with Jesus? Pray for the Lord to use you to tell others about Him.
These types of application ideas found in Lifeway’s Bible study resources give us an opportunity to encourage the people in our group to share with others about Jesus. We can let them practice as a part of the group time and then send them out to share with others along the way.
Celebrate it. When a group member tells us about them sharing with a person about Jesus, we can invite them to tell the group about it. We can interview them or look for ways their experience intersects the lesson that week with the intent of their story illustrating a point to be made. We may simply ask them to share during the prayer time. We not only celebrate their opportunity and faithfulness, but we also open the door for the group to pray for the person who heard the story.
Be sure to read “Train People that Verbally Share” on pages 38-39 of Farsighted for more about this subject. Secure a copy here (lifeway.com/trainingresources)