FAQs

FAQ’s

1. Who can start a Neighborhood Bible Study (NBS)?
2. What if I don’t live in a neighborhood?
3. Do I need the gift of teaching to lead an NBS?
4. What if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer?
5. What if no one or only a few come?
6. How do I reach out to those who come irregularly or stop attending altogether?
7. What do I do about child care?
8. What is the best size for a group?
9. How do I handle prayer requests?
10. How do I handle conflict or difficult discussions within the group?
11. How do I handle different denominations?
12. How do I choose what material to study?

 

1. Who can start a Neighborhood Bible Study (NBS)?

If you love God and desire to share His love with others, then you are qualified to start an NBS.

 

2. What if I don’t live in a neighborhood?

No problem! Your neighbors include people: on your street, in your apartment or condo complex, in your village or small community, in your place of work, school, club, or other relational network. A neighbor is whomever God brings into your life whether at home, work, or through other networks or connections. Pray and follow the Spirit’s lead in adapting NBS2GO to your circle of neighbors.

 

3. Do I need the gift of teaching to lead an NBS?

In a word, “No!” In fact, leading a Bible study that produces life change in all participants needs discussion not lecture. View yourself as a facilitator. While there are places and purposes for teaching/lecturing (one-way communication) your NBS is not one of them. Spend time developing skills in leading good discussions and asking open-ended questions.

 

4. What if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer?

You do not need to have all of the answers and you never will have them, for that matter. Humbly admitting that you do not know the answer is a wonderful lesson and example for your group. You can acknowledge that it is a great question and if time permits, open it up to the group. Encourage scripture supported answers. You may suggest that the NBS member seek an answer to the question and share the answer with the group the next week.

 

5. What if no one or only a few come?

This has happened to some of us who are now leading thriving studies. Don’t view this as a shut door! It is important to ask yourself several questions. “Was it a bad time of day? Was it a busy time for most people?” You may also want to ask yourself, “Do I have relationships with my neighbors? How can I meet more neighbors so they can get to know me? How can I build trust or show love?” You may want to spend more time trying to initiate relationships and PRAY! Then, try again!

 

6. How do I reach out to those who come irregularly or stop attending altogether?

You should reach out to those whose attendance is irregular or falling off or has stopped altogether. Some women may need just a little individual encouragement. Some may be struggling with issues they have been reluctant to share. Some may simply need extra love and care. There are many reasons women stop coming or are infrequent in their attendance. But you may never know the reason until you take the time to pursue that woman and ask. Most of us are very reluctant to do this. We fear being perceived as a pest or a busy-body. Jesus teaches us plainly that we are to go after the one who is lost. So, we must try. It may require a phone call or a visit or a lunch. Each situation is different. But the goal is simply to convey genuine Christian love and concern. Statements as simple as “I have missed seeing you in Bible study” or “Is everything OK?” may be all that are needed. A note of encouragement is always nice. What you want to avoid is any sense of judgment, legalism, and harassment. If the woman is not open to talking to you after you have tried, you must leave her in God’s hands. Of course, any approach should be bathed in prayer!

 

7. What do I do about child care?

Pray and pursue finding a sitter (ideas: homeschooler, Bible Study members rotate in caring for the children, inquire at churches, with neighbors and friends). We highly suggest childcare be provided in another home in your neighborhood other than your NBS location.

 

8. What is the best size for a group?

The best size is the one God gives you. Really, there is no right or optimal size. God will lead the right women at the right time to your study. You must do your part – pray, plan, invite – and leave the rest, including the size of your study to Him. Some of us have studies with 40 women, others have studies with five. As your group grows, it will be beneficial to divide into small groups of five to 10 to facilitate greater participation and sharing.

 

9. How do I handle prayer requests?

Remember that you have invited your neighbors to a Bible study not a prayer group. (Among the five of us writing this material we handle prayer requests five different ways!) The one thing we would recommend is handling prayer at the end of your Bible study time. Whether you share requests aloud, or in a journal, on cards, or not at all, remember prayer should not be the focus of the discussion time.

Handling Prayer Needs

 

10. How do I handle conflict or difficult discussions within the group?

Regularly remind your group of the ABCD’s of Discussion.

A = Audible (be loud enough for all to hear)
B = Brief (statements not stories)
C = Christ and Content-Centered (stay focused)
D = Discuss without Division (don’t talk about politics, denominations, or controversial issues)

This will help keep the Bible Study on track and off tangents or unwanted topics. If the discussion veers, you can say, “Let’s get back to (what the Bible says, the Bible Study, our lesson) and if you would like to talk after the study, please see me.”

 

11. How do I handle different denominations?

We have found that the best way to handle different denominations, churches, or even differing views on politics, is to set up expectations in the beginning (Creating Your NBS Mission Statement, NBS Mission and Values Example, NBS Mission Example) so that these issues will not be part of the discussion. Instead, the focus will be on God and His Word – using the Bible as your guide.

 

12. How do I choose what material to study?

With so many amazing resources and studies available to most of us, choosing what material to study can be overwhelming. Making a few decisions about the type of study and format you wish to follow can be very helpful in narrowing your choices. Please see the Open Bible section of this website and Materials and Format, for help in this regard. Once you make these preliminary choices, you will be in a better position to review and compare studies as well as make a decision. In the end, you will have to trust God to lead you to the right study for your women. Generally, you will just land on a study that seems right!

We caution you, however, against soliciting too much input from the women in your study. Each may have a completely different opinion about what you should study, and rarely will all agree on one study. Too, as the leader, it is your job to allow God to work through you in leading your group. Go to Him for advice and direction. Listen to His leading. Be sensitive to His promptings. Trust God and yourself.

We also have included studies we highly recommend in this website. Feel free to choose any of these materials for your next study. They are tried and true!

Recommended Bible Studies

 

 

Stay In Touch!