By Ken Braddy
You might not be familiar with the term “ongoing Bible studies.” That’s OK. That’s why I’m here.
An ongoing Bible study group is one that typically meets once a week throughout the year. This kind of group is different from short-term groups that meet for a set number of weeks and then disband.
There is great value in providing Bible study groups with ongoing studies. Here are just three of the better reasons for making this kind of investment in people and groups:
1. The No. 2 reason people leave groups is because they end.
Lifeway Research discovered a primary reason people leave a group is not because of the group leader, because friends leave, or because of the studies themselves. People leave groups because groups end!
Thirty-six percent of group members stopped attending when the Bible study ended. The only other reason that exceeds this one is because of a life change (schedule change, relocation, etc.). It is not easy to get people to come back every time a group ends—it gives them a chance to exit the group and make other choices about how they want to use their time.36% of group members who stopped attending a Bible study did so because it ended. The only other reason that exceeds this is a life change like moving. Click To Tweet
The best thing you can do for your church’s groups is to make certain they do not start and stop throughout the year. Your primary Bible study ministry will retain more people if the groups meet weekly.
2. Ongoing groups and their ongoing studies fit today’s busy, sporadic attenders.
It has been widely documented that people attend groups less today than they did a decade ago. Attendance has become more unpredictable and sporadic. Ongoing studies (specifically the personal study guides that are used to study the Bible) help busy people keep up with the group when they are not there physically.Ongoing Bible studies better help busy people keep up with the group when they are not there physically. — @kenbraddy Click To Tweet
A person could miss their Bible study group’s meeting one week, but keep up to speed by reading and studying the session on their own. When they return to the group, they haven’t missed a beat in terms of what the group has studied.
3. Ongoing groups make it easier to communicate options to members and guests.
If your church’s primary Bible study groups start and stop throughout the year, imagine how difficult it will be to communicate options to members and guests who want to connect to a group. Communicating options can be difficult enough, but someone will have to accept responsibility for tracking all groups and when they start and stop so that can also be communicated to potential group members.If your church’s primary Bible study groups start and stop throughout the year, it becomes difficult to communicate options to members and guests who want to connect to a group. — @kenbraddy Click To Tweet
I could add a few more reasons why ongoing groups will benefit your church, but hopefully the three points above will point you in the right direction. Our people have been apart for way too long. And even when we were somewhat gathered, our discipleship experiences became disjointed during the pandemic.
This could be a fresh approach to not only discipleship, but to assembling our people in a more meaningful, concentrated way, keeping people engaged for the long haul.