It’s good to study the Bible together! We should be excited about opening God’s Word with others in Sunday School classes, discipleship classes, and other Bible studies.
The groups you study Scripture with matter, and your role in those groups matters too. So, here are some tips for being a better small group member:
Bring your Bible – and use it. Seems obvious, but bring your Bible to Bible study. The people in your group (especially whoever is teaching) have good things to say, but they don’t have inspired-by-God things to say. Bring your Bible and let it be the best thing in the room.
Speak up. Don’t just observe; participate! Someone in your group just might need to hear your perspective on the text. Join in the discussion.
But don’t speak too much. If you’re always the first one answering the questions or adding commentary or even reading the assigned passage, then intentionally be second (or third or fourth or last). Consider others.
Be real, but don’t overshare. Small group Bible studies should welcome personal stories. Your group should be a place of vulnerability and trust. But don’t let your real-ness veer into unnecessary babble. Don’t gossip. Don’t glorify sin. Don’t talk about yourself at the expense of talking about the Word.
Stay on track. Don’t be the person who takes your entire group on a tangent. Focus on the Bible passage, lean into the topic at hand, and keep your contributions in the direction the teacher is heading.
Encourage your teacher. Your small group leader works hard. Listen to them. Respect them. Thank them.
Pray for other small group members. Thank God for each one by name. Ask God to give them a love for His Word. Pray that God would use you to minister to them in some way.
Check back next week for part 2, “How to Be a Better Small Group Leader."