Putting faith into action in your adult Bible study

Apr 11, 2019 7:00:00 AM / by Carla Barnhill

041119_blog_bible-practical-applications

This is the final blog post in our three-part series with ideas about hosting a new engaging Bible study with your adults! Check out the first and second posts here and here.

In our previous blog post in the series, you got some ideas for helping your group think about familiar Bible stories in new ways. But if you've been hosting a Bible study or small group for a while, you might find that a discussion-based format is starting to feel a little limited. If your group is ready for deeper engagement with the themes coming out of your time together, consider organizing on a hands-on project that includes kids and other adults in your church, or even people from your community.

Okay, that might sound overwhelming, especially if coordinating big events isn’t your strong suit. But with a little planning, some collaboration, and a few simple guidelines, your group can put together a project that puts concrete action around big faith concepts and serves the community at the same time.

Here are three keys to success:

Define the project

As a group, spend some time thinking about themes or ideas from your Bible study that have resonated deeply. What would it look like to apply the theme of, say, resurrection and renewal to an aspect of your community life? Plan something with a clear end goal and a manageable set of tasks and you’re likely to get more buy-in from the group. You could:

  • Volunteer as a group to clean up and repair the playground equipment at a local park.
  • Plan, plant, and tend a community garden at your church over the summer and donate produce or flowers to a local organization.
  • Organize a day-long relationship retreat for the parents of young children to give them some down time together.
  • Host a family night at your church with games, conversation starters, snacks, and craft projects to help busy parents and kids reconnect.

Divvy up the work

As the small group leader, you might be tempted to take on the bulk of the planning of your project. Resist! The whole idea is for the group to share this experience from start to finish, not just show up for some assigned volunteer slot. So be sure that everyone in the group has a defined task from the very beginning. Whether it’s creating flyers or contacting the Parks Department, gathering gardening tools or collecting craft supplies, everyone can and should contribute to ensure your project goes well.

Remember why you're doing this

Sure, you want your project to go well, but the point of this is to serve your community and put your faith to work in the world. It’s okay if your garden is a little less-than robust or your game night only brings in a few families. If your group is learning and growing in the process, that’s a win. Let this experience spur your group to even more meaningful conversation as you reflect on the work you did and the ways it brought the Word of God to life in your lives.

Looking for a curriculum that helps adult small groups explore the Bible, faith concepts, or spiritual practices? Find out how Sparkhouse can help!

 

Topics: Adults Ministry

Carla Barnhill

Written by Carla Barnhill

Carla Barnhill is the vice president and publisher of Sparkhouse and the creator of the Dialogues On series of adult small group resources that help churches have challenging conversations around important topics.

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