Studying the scriptures with a group is a great way to gain new insights and bring consistency to your study. Creating a family bible study can be especially rewarding as family members share personal experiences and grow together through the routine. Here are some tips for enjoying a great family bible study.
Perhaps the most important step in establishing a family bible study is creating a routine. Set aside a specific time where the family can be together for reading and discussing. Depending on your family's schedule, perhaps once a week on Sunday evening works well. Maybe it works for your family to spend a few minutes together every day either before everyone leaves for work and school or in the evening after dinner. Frequency is less important than consistency--choose a time and make it a priority.
More Isn't Necessarily Better
Especially if you have small children in your home, a lengthy bible study isn't necessarily more effective than a short one. Making the discussion short increases the likelihood of it becoming a habit and leaves family members excited for the next study rather than dreading it. Even discussing a couple of verses each day can be beneficial.
Family prayer is a particularly satisfying experience. Even if your bible study is short, include a family prayer as part of the experience. Prayer can help set the tone for your study and invites the Spirit to increase understanding. It is also a great opportunity to express appreciation for family members and to ask for help with family concerns and challenges.
Find Ways for Everyone to Participate
While a parent will likely lead the discussion, find ways for all family members to participate. Rotate who says the prayer. Invite elementary-aged children to help read passages. Ask simple questions to younger children. Encourage older children to share their own concerns and questions. A bible study isn't meant to be like a Sunday School class with one teacher and lots of students. It should be a group effort to progress together towards greater understanding.
Don't Go In Order
While some families experience successful studies by working through the Bible chronologically, reading chapter after chapter in sequence, this approach doesn't work for everyone. Instead of risking becoming bogged down in chapters full of "begat"s, consider working thematically. Choose topics of special interest and then find stories and passages that relate to the theme. Faith, prayer, repentance, love, obedience, and kindness all make great study themes.
A final way to improve your family bible study is to provide time for sharing how things that you've studied together have made a difference. Give family members the opportunity to express experiences they have had related to what they've read together. This will reinforce the lessons taught and increase love for one another.
Family bible study is a beautiful way to make the Word of God part of your home life. Follow the tips in this article to make your study even better. For more information, contact a local church like New Gethsemane Baptist Church.