How to Get Started with Bible Journey for Small Groups
Bible Journey‘s interactive and reflective curriculum lends itself well to personal work and reflection as well as discussion within a small-group setting. Whether you’d like a curriculum for all the small groups or life groups in your church to work through together, or just have a small group of your own that you’re looking for a study for, Bible Journey is easily customizable for community groups of various sizes and purposes.
Why Use Bible Journey for your Small Group
Bible Journey’s courses are perfect for use as a stand-alone curriculum. Alternatively, they can also be easily adapted for use as a supplement to something you’re already working through. Many small groups enjoy taking a year (or more) to take a deep-dive through the entire Bible together using Bible Journey’s interactive and engaging courses. However, you may adapt Bible Journey as fits your group, diving into just one book of the Bible or working through an entire study (typically a group of 7-8 courses) together.
Bible Journey offers both monthly and annual passes to provide flexible subscription options for your group. Whether you just want to work through one course for a month or two of meetings, subscribe for a semester-long study, or work through the entire Bible Journey curriculum for a year (or more!), our subscription options provide the flexibility you need. If your small group is meeting for a fixed amount of time, decide how much of the Bible Journey curriculum you can reasonably cover in that time. If your group is ongoing, you may decide to devote a certain amount of time to your Bible Journey, use it as a supplement alongside ongoing discussion or curriculum, or commit to working through the entire Bible Journey curriculum.
Immersive and Comprehensive Content
Bible Journey’s transformative courses cover every book of the Bible, plus topics like Bible Translation, Culture & the Bible, the History of the Bible and more. As a result, you’ll have a comprehensive curriculum for your small group studying through the entire Bible or choosing to take a deep-dive into just one book or a section of the Scriptures. In addition, Bible Journey’s self-paced and completely online platform means your group can take as much or as little time as needed on each course and lesson. Small group members will benefit from the rich personal study and reflection built into the Bible Journey courses as much as the deep group discussions among a small group of peers and fellow learners.
How to Use Bible Journey with a Small Group
Choose a Good Group Size
While Bible Journey can be adapted for groups of varying sizes, choosing a good group size can help your group have a richer experience with Bible Journey. We recommend groups of no more than 12-15 people for working through your Bible Journey study. Groups of about 6-10 are ideal, especially for new leaders, as smaller groups are often easier to facilitate and often are able to have deeper discussions.
Deciding Where to Begin
If you’re planning to work through the entire Bible Journey curriculum, we strongly recommend starting at the beginning, as the Bible Journey courses do build upon each other. However, it is possible to choose a particular study or course to complete individually, especially if you don’t have time to work through the whole curriculum. Starting somewhere familiar (such as with the Gospels) is also a good way to get groups warmed up to the Bible Journey studies. Each course and study should be worked through sequentially, so if you’re studying the Gospels, begin with the first course and work through in order from there.
How to Plan Your Small Group Sessions with Bible Journey
Bible Journey courses are particularly well-suited for a flipped classroom approach when working with small (or even medium-sized) groups. In a flipped classroom approach, small group members will work through some or all of the lessons or activities in the course on their own, and then return to the group for discussion and additional teaching. You’ll want to decide in advance how much to cover between each meeting—one lesson per week? Multiple lessons, or even an entire course? This will depend on how often your small group meets, as well as on how much time group members have to dedicate to study outside of group time.
You can also customize which parts of Bible Journey small group members will work through on their own and in the group. To decide this, you’ll have to determine the primary take-aways you want your group to focus on. We recommend having students work through the majority (or even all) of lesson content on their own and then spending most of the small group time on discussion questions and perhaps a lecture or onsite video to spurn further discussion. However, some small groups prefer to focus group time on one segment of the lessons or another. For example, some groups may prefer to focus their group time on the Behind the Text (contextual) or In Front of the Text (application-oriented) sections of the lesson.
Many groups have the most success with incorporating a variety of elements in their sessions. Open-ended questions that invite group members to share what struck them from the lesson, what they found the most interesting, or what questions they had after completing the lesson from that week can help your discussion get off on the right foot. It’s also a good idea to prepare some questions about the key points you want your group to take away from that week’s lesson to be sure your group has a chance to discuss them.
Want to see if Bible Journey would be the right fit for your church’s small groups? Get one month free to explore the entire Bible Journey curriculum and see what Bible Journey has to offer!