One of the best ways to learn about scripture is to read it and discuss it with other people. Here are some suggestions for getting started a group Bible study.
- Be clear about your purpose.
People usually get together to apply the wisdom of scripture to their lives and to support each other. But there are other possible reasons. For example: to study the Sunday Mass readings; to get connected (or reconnected) with the Church; to do academic-level study.
- Choose a scripture program that suits your purpose.
Many programs are available.
- Agree on norms for discussion.
“We’re all beginners here” is good start. Other attitudes: “we want to read scripture prayerfully,” “we’re not here to give each other advice about our problems,” “what’s said in group meetings is confidential.” Be explicit about these norms.
- Agree on the commitment to the group Bible study.
What priority does the group have in our schedules? Is everyone expected to do “homework” ahead of time?
- Settle housekeeping matters.
Where and when will we meet? Who provides refreshments (if any)? How long will the meetings be? (It’s a good idea to agree to end the meeting on time.)
- Agree on leadership.
Someone needs to facilitate meetings. This responsibility could rotate among group members or one person could do it all the time.
- Put God at the center.
Scripture is the word of God. Approach your readings and discussions prayerfully. Listen for God’s word for you.