There are over 18,000 Bible studies for women listed on Amazon (affiliate link).
A quick search on Lifeway.com pulls up over 400 results.
With new Bible studies coming out almost daily (or so it seems) how are we ever supposed to choose a Bible study for our group?!
Today I’m sharing 5 basic ways women’s ministry teams select Bible studies.
- The facilitator of the group selects the studies.
- The Pastor of Education selects the Bible studies.
- The Women’s Ministry Team Bible Study Coordinator selects the Bible studies.
- A separate Bible Study Review Team selects the Bible studies.
- Your current Bible study attendees vote on which study to do next.
Perhaps you’re thinking of changing the method your team currently uses.
Maybe you’d like to try something different for the next session of Bible study offerings.
It’s possible what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working so well…
Taking a look at some of the pros and cons of each method may help you decide what to do.
Pros – The facilitator is likely to pick a study topic she is passionate about and that passion will shine through in her teaching and facilitating.
Cons – Facilitators sometimes get in a rut choosing the same authors repeatedly. The selection(s) may not be in alignment with the current focus for the women’s ministry or the church.
2. Pastor selection
Pros – The Women’s Ministry Team does not have to delegate the task. He/She is often aware of newer studies. The studies they choose will likely align with the current church focus or mission.
Cons – If the Pastor is a man, he may not choose something that appeals to a large number of women. The facilitator and women’s ministry team may feel they had no say in the selection.
3. Women’s Ministry Team Bible Study Coordinator
Pros – This is her primary role so she should be familiar with a variety of studies and should have her pulse on the interests of the women in the church and community. As part of the Women’s Ministry Team her selections should support and encourage the current focus of the women’s ministry and the church.
Cons – It’s possible her preferences for a certain study style or author may be weighed more heavily in the decision making process – though not necessarily intentionally. A facilitator may wish to have input.
Pros – A wide variety of women come together to review and give input. A member of the Women’s Ministry Team and/or the Bible Study Coordinator should chair and guide the team keeping them on task and in alignment with current church and ministry goals. Reviews of the same study are completed by multiple people.
Cons – There is a time commitment and multiple meetings will be necessary. Majority tends to rule, which may not always be a good thing.
I was unfamiliar with how a Bible Study Review Team could work until we came to our current church. This past fall I joined the Review Team in part so I could share how it works with all of you! Here’s the link to the post: How to Set Up and Facilitate a Bible Study Review Team.
5. Attendees Vote
Pros – Those who attend are given a voice in the choice(s). If the Women’s Ministry Team or Bible Study Coordinator is struggling to narrow down the choices, this can be a fair way of deciding which study or studies to offer.
Cons – The voters may be unfamiliar with the content of each study. The final selection may not be in alignment with church and ministry goals. Not all votes may be bathed in prayer.
A few more thoughts:
- It is possible to combine some of these methods.
- Every method should be bathed in prayer.
- You may wish to select your studies first and then prayerfully ask specific women to facilitate each study.
- On your Bible study evaluations or your registration forms, ask your attendees for their suggestions! Many of them have done studies at other churches, in their neighborhood, etc. and may recommend a great study! Often those who recommend a study are willing to serve as the facilitator. *That is what happened with one of our Fall selections in 2015. I did the study at another church before we moved, loved it, and our women at this church loved it too!
What tips and ideas do you have for selecting Bible studies for your church and community?
You may also want to read:
Tips & Tools for Bible Study and Small Group Facilitators
How to Set Up and Facilitate a Bible Study Review Team