As a leader, you have the chance to share the gospel without ever leaving your house or place of worship. You will learn everything you need to know about starting an online Bible study from this detailed guide. Avoid frequent errors to expand your audience right away!
Who Can Benefit?
Bring together members of a Bible study group without making them worry about schedules, travel time, or babysitters. When it’s convenient for them, they can get together. Internet-based groups are available at all times and can even help active missionaries who require materials for discipleship.
People who have stopped going to church due to a sickness or another difficulty, like getting older, might be able to go again in the virtual setting. Just when people believed they would never be able to worship or study with others once more, this cheers them up and sheds new light on their life.
Grandparents are important. Set them free from immobility or other restrictions so that they can use the strength of a community to share their love and pray. You are aware of how powerful prayer is.
Let’s look at different methods for doing this. Utilize the power of the internet to inspire renewed optimism among your congregation’s members.
Pick an Online Platform
There are several internet platforms from which to pick. The following four simple choices are ideal for online Bible studies:
Establish a Google Hangout
Google Hangout is accessible to everyone with a Google account. It is a totally free video conferencing tool. The entire group will be visible at once on the screen, and the person speaking will automatically be made larger so that they are the focus of attention.
These days, Zoom is used frequently for any kind of online group or meeting, so you’ve definitely heard a lot of chatter about it. It works on a variety of devices, not simply those with a Google Account, which makes it different from Google Hangout.
Your virtual Bible study will be presented in a setting and interface similar to a virtual meeting. Zoom is simple to use. To use it, attendees will need to create a Zoom account, but doing so takes less time than creating a Google account.
Do you broadcast your sermons live? If yes, you are prepared to start live-streaming Bible lessons as well, giving you the opportunity to host them on your own website and preserve all archives in your own and constantly accessible. Think about categorizing them.
Existing Bible Studies
Make a list of the qualities you’d want in a Bible study venue if you’re interested in discovering and joining an existing online Bible study. What location is the easiest for the majority of your possible attendees to access?
If you do find the ideal one, either use it as a template for your own or decide to make it your church group’s official Bible study. You know what’s best since you’re a leader. Additionally, if necessary, you may always change the format later in response to participant comments.
You shouldn’t be apprehensive if you choose to launch your own. You will receive the materials and tools needed to continue your Bible study. You’ll learn how easy it is and how very satisfying it will be for everyone involved.
How to Start an Online Bible Study
The world is at your fingertips, regardless of what religion your church practices. More than just a get-together of similar minds is required to launch an online Bible study. It’s a place to find support and the opportunity to speak freely, but how does one locate and build a venue?
Consider these tips when creating a new study venue:
To ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to share their thoughts and prayers, you should aim for no more than 10 participants. You can use your knowledge from real-world groups in virtual ones as well. Simply divide those who are interested into smaller groups if there are more than ten.
If Google Hangout or Zoom aren’t what you’re searching for, there are a ton of different free instant messaging apps available.
Consider proposing everyone use headphones or earphones with built-in microphones to prevent echoing from computer speakers. Everyone engaged will find it more enjoyable and effective as a result. Having fewer distractions allows for deeper content concentration.
You might occasionally encounter a faulty connection, low sound quality, power outage, or other technical issues. If this occurs, you won’t need to freak out because you’ll be prepared for everything and will know what to expect. Just get a free conference call number so people can call in to the meeting instead of being on television. Free conference calls are available here. The service provider offers a unique price structure that enables you to pay whatever you can.
You can find a wealth of contributions from professionals all over the world online if you need some new suggestions to infuse the group with extra vigor. Free (and downloadable) small-group Bible study resources abound as well. Never be afraid to modify general small-group concepts or activities for your particular subject.
In order to maintain the finest possible online Bible study group, offer a few engaging conversation topics in advance to your church’s home page. Keep it timely and fresh. To get people ready and excited for the meeting, you can provide movies, references, and other themed material.
Even better, you may add a topic-specific forum before, during, or after a group meeting. To enhance excitement and interest, audio clips and images can also be used.
You could start each meeting with an ice-breaker if attendees are joining for the first time, or you could add one in the middle for variation. While you wait for everyone to come, you can play a number of cooperative online games.
As a token of appreciation for participating, ask your group what they would like to get. Giveaways are always welcome and can, for instance, include headphones and/or webcams.
To draw more guests, take into account incorporating this information in your newsletter and website. Send out personal letters or post it on social media.
Keep the Conversation Going
Being a leader in your church, you are probably aware of the fact that great conversation works best when it flows smoothly (or even turbulent, yet constructive, rapids). These recommendations might either help you develop new ideas or reinforce the ones you already use.
Read inspirational sayings or Bible texts.
Offer a one-on-one talk or a private chat room for even smaller groups.
Discuss the most recent sermon or a planned group study guide.
Let everyone express their needs for prayer, and then add your own.
If you’re not participating in a video conversation, permit posting of selfies.
Bible readings in groups to foster harmony.
Be the kind, caring, and understanding leader that you are by setting an example of the kind of participation you would like to see. Post images or prayer requests to inspire others. Encourage the other members of the group to try new things by being the one to do so.
Requests for prayers
Posting prayer requests in these uncertain times, as we have discussed. To encourage your audience, post them or discuss them in the sermon. Additionally, prayer is necessary to uplift the friends and loved ones of the sick or dying.
It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun just because you can’t go in person. In fact, having your Bible study group online may present chances for participants to be more inventive and proactive in how they show one another their love and support.
The group can use these skills to provide and serve others in this situation. Together, brainstorm and compile a list of the skills and talents that each person has to give. Have a lively discussion about who does what, how much spare time they have, and how best to use their expertise to benefit the community.