Is your head swimming just thinking about the first day of Bible study?
From the logistical to the practical to building relationships, there’s a lot to do and a lot to remember!
Our women’s ministry team recently made plans for the first day of our summer Bible study.
After working through our own logistics, I thought it might be helpful to create a list we can all use and adapt.
This list can easily be tweaked for a small group meeting in a home or a large group with multiple studies and facilitators.
(There is a print button below this post, should you wish to print out the list.)
What to do the first day of Bible study:
1. Clearly mark your entrance area(s) and meeting spaces. Expect women that have never been on your campus to attend. You may want to try this creative way to mark your entrance. Maps with room numbers may be necessary at your church. Clearly hang a sign at each meeting room with the name of the facilitator and room number.
2. Have some simple, fun decorations on your registration table and food tables (if you have them).
3. Provide name tags – your group leaders could make them or you could just use stickers or plastic badges.
4. Register women and children as needed. Even if you’ve required registration in advance, there’s a good chance someone new will show up on the first day.
5. Establish a routine by beginning your time as you will each week. You might sing 3 hymns (or less if time is an issue that first day), share announcements, and pray.
6. Share descriptions of each study being offered if they haven’t had to choose previously.
8. Pass along important childcare information – you could choose to hold the moms for 5 minutes while the rest of the group finds their small group meeting location.
9. Introduce your group facilitator(s). You may want to dismiss each group as their leader is introduced. For the rest of your first day, you will likely want to break into your small groups (if you have them).
10. Facilitators need to share their contact information – your women need to know how to reach you!
11. Set expectations for attendance, participation, homework, food, prayer requests, etc. Season them with grace and understanding while giving your women a goal. You can elaborate on the specifics during future meetings. Be wary of information overload.
12. Distribute the schedule and calendar. Be sure to include weeks off, holidays, changes in meeting dates, and the lessons covered on each date. You may also want to include your inclement weather policy. If you already know when your group will be having fellowship time or meeting for lunch/breakfast include those dates too. Print and pass them out and follow up with an email copy.
13. Play an icebreaker game! This first meeting will be super heavy on information – take time to laugh and begin building those relationships so your women will look forward to coming back next week. Need a game to play? I’ve got a bunch here.
14. Pass out the books and/or materials for the study.
15. Clearly share the homework assignment.
Be sure you start on time and end on time. You want to set the expectation and precedent of starting and finishing on time.
Despite the lengthy list I’ve given you above – please don’t overload your women with details.
You don’t have to read every piece of paper you pass out.
- Save information to share at the next meeting, at the meeting after, and via email/phone calls.
- Prayer request details can easily wait until the next meeting.
- Planning your fellowships can wait too.
May God bless your Bible studies. May your first meeting day be filled with excitement and love. May He bring new women into your circle. May He develop a desire in your church and community to study His Word. May your time spent together studying be fruitful, both in building knowledge and building relationships.
You may also want to read:
Tips & Tools for Bible Study and Small Group Leaders
How to Set up and Facilitate a Bible Study Review Team
A Code of Conduct for Small Groups
Two Ways You Can Encourage Group Discussion
One Thing Every Group Leader Needs to Learn
Praying for Your Small Group (Includes Free Printable)