rebelling against low expectations

Any suggestions for starting a Bible study?


LINDSEY WRITES: I have been thinking and praying about starting a Bible study with my friends — around five girls 14/15-years-old — but I don’t know where to start. Have you ever participated in something like this? If so, what advice would you give me on starting a study? Are there any books of the Bible, devotionals, or other books you would recommend we use? Additional comments? Thanks!

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  • There are definitely a plethora of options for studies like this. A great book might be Do Hard Things 😉 (I have 8 copies sitting at home…). Just find something that you believe (through God’s guidance, of course) will best help those in your study grow. If you choose a book, many have study guides that can be really good tools.

    I’m sure girls could recommend good books for girls’ studies, but there are also good books of the Bible to use. The New Testament letters are fantastic; I’d suggest studying through some and choosing one or more that you think would be best. And there are also great study guides for books of the Bible. You always want to be “ahead” of those you are leading.

    The most important thing is that you follow God’s lead. Ask Him to show you what they most need to learn. Hopefully that helps to get started; I’m sure others on here can recommend some good books!

  • Hmm, hard question. I’ve never led a Bible study before and haven’t attended very many. But here are some book suggestions:
    So Much More ~ Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
    anything and everything by Elizabeth George (a great starter is A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices)
    anything by Leslie Ludy ( Set-Apart Femininity)
    Again, Do Hard Things is another great book ; )
    12 Extraordinary Women ~ John Piper
    Before You Meet Prince Charming ~ Sarah Mally

    Hope this helps you. I’ll be praying!

  • Lindsey,

    I would suggest Bright Lights by Sarah Mally. It is a teen girls’ study group with topics like Being Strong for the Lord in your Youth, Developing a Close Relationship with Your Parents, a variety of Character Traits, and more.
    It is not a book-by-book Bible study, but it is great for encouragement and discipleship.
    You could do it by itself or add it to your Bible study.

    Hope that helps!

  • Just start one. If not you who and if not now when. Read the Bible and discuss it with prayer and ask Him for His blessing and His guidance of bringing His life, message and ministry to yours. You will learn and grow better every day and week. The U. of Chicago’s Great Books program has some very good material on leading readings. Also I love The One Year Bible while always remembering that where two or more gathered in His name there He will be also.

  • This is what worked for us

    Pray 😉

    Ask God to guide you & strengthen you,
    because as you do this there will be distractions from the enemy

    make a regular time & day & stick with it
    so it’s on the calendar (for us because of large distances we had to make it
    once a month)

    Choose something that is basic to God’s Word,
    like a book of the Bible, one on Proverbs is a great start.

    There are lots of ‘topical’ ones, but these can
    be a distraction (especially “girly ones”, not to be rude to those who want this
    kind of theme, but they kinda bog you down in an ideology instead of focusing on
    His Word)

    Some rules

    Don’t gossip for prayer & what’s said for
    personal reflection & personal prayer in the group, is not for out side
    discussion (within reason, like you can talk with Mum & Dad about the
    general things or to ask for understanding of things, but basically use
    discretion, so that trust is a there for people to confidently share without
    feeling like what they are thinking is not worth sharing)

    Pray some more 🙂

    Some other things we did with ours

    Whoever is leading that time has the
    responsibility to remind everyone the week before or 2 days before

    it was hosted at their house

    everyone bring & share for nibbles eg arvo

    And again Pray:)

  • I definitely agree with Al Ive that you should pray about it. And I would like to recommend a book called “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan it has challenged my faith in so many ways and helped me to look at how I am actually living my Christian life. Am I living a lukewarm just scraping by Christian life, or am I going full throttle doing all in my human power to please and obey what God has commanded of me. I hope that you listen to everyone you writes here because they have lots of good knowledge and wisdom to pass on! Keep living your life for Jesus and be a witness to your friends! Also talk to your youth pastor or parents and see what they would suggest you doing. And Pray,Pray,Pray!

    • “Crazy Love” is one of my favorite books and if you do choose to use it, don’t be afraid to go to the recommended links in the book. The two or three videos are definitely worth the time to go check out as a group.

  • My mom and sister and I are going through the book “Becoming God’s True Woman…While I Still Have A Curfew” by Mary A. Kassian and Susan Hunt. I think it is really good. The first section goes through the gospel and the woman’s role. We haven’t gone through the second section yet but I think it is really good. I have really enjoyed it and it can be geared toward all ages. Hope that helps!

  • There are a lot of awesome materials out there. If you want to just study scripture, the Discovery Bible Study method is really awesome. This is used in a lot of house churches in Asia and Africa, and is simple and thus anyone can pick it up on their own or with another group of people.
    Here is a link to the the flow of how DBS works. Different people have names and variations for this, but the key is to discover and obey truth from God’s Word as a community. Some groups just use the scripture study questions, and that it totally fine. Whatever works for you guys!
    There is also a book by Jerry Trousdale called Miraculous Movements. It has crazy awesome stories of DBS working in whole villages and communities that have come to follow Jesus together. Super awesome stuff!
    Enjoy, and I know you guys encounter the Lord with whatever you do and be a great encouragement to each other! Have fun!

    • Hey Daniel,
      Thanks for the link to this resource, it looks to be straight to the heart of Scripture, God’s message to us 🙂

      I really like how it focuses on scripture 1st 🙂
      (not picking a scripture to match a topic)
      Discovery Questions
      1. What happens in this passage?
      2. What does this passage tell us about God?
      3. What does this passage tell us about people?

      God Creates:)

      Our disobedience, separation from our life giver:(
      God’s promise to save us:)
      Jesus saves:)
      Our eternal life starts now:)

  • A book that is really good is “The Passion of Jesus Christ” by John Piper.
    It goes through 50 reasons why Jesus came to die for us. One of the really nice things about it, is that it is divided up into smaller parts that I think would make it easier to do a Bible study on. I hope that helps!

  • Hey Lindsey, awesome question!
    When I was 13, I started a Bible Study using the study series Christianity Explored . Unfortunately, due to poor advertising, only one person came (out of 10). But, reading over the material made me energized and excited to study the Word of God. I highly recommend this series for first time studies and Bible-veteran studies.

    Also, when doing a Bible study (or any type of public speaking), I believe it is important to follow the following guidelines:

    (1) Act excited (but not crazy). Because if you’re just reciting the words in the book, only the very patient, very committed Christians will pay attention, and even they will be bored. If you act excited, you get excited. And if you’re excited, that grabs the attention of the listeners.

    (2) Speak up. You can be the most passionate person on the planet, but if they can’t hear you, they eventually just give up. Try to speak in a outdoor-speaking voice, if you don’t have a microphone. If you speak like you normally talk to someone one-on-one, the people farther away could have difficulty hearing you, especially in a large group setting.

    (3) Relax. Remember that these people around you are going through the same things you are. It’s not like everyone but you is confident and cool. Odds are, they feel the same thing as you. So, just give it your best, and let God take care of the rest, no matter what people think.

    I hope this helps and God bless!
    – Trent

  • The only thing I have to say, is let God take control. There is one study I am co-leader of in a public high school, and starting out, not many people showed, making us discouraged. But we persistently kept praying that God would take the group and use it to complete His will. And after week three, the numbers went from 2 to about 20, and just keep growing. So, it is important to keep God close and let Him use you and group to complete His will .

  • I would suggest It’s Not That Complicated by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin.
    Bible studies can be fun but a tip to keep in mind is to not let things get too silly. The focus should remain mostly on the study.

  • Hi Lindsey,
    I’ve co led a bible study with my mom for young teen girls. My advice would be to
    First,let God lead. There will be times when you will simply need to just forget about the book for that evening and just talk about things they are going through or stuff that’s bothering them.
    Second, as the leader pray things through. This is the thing we often forget to do. Without the Holy Spirit working in their hearts and yours whatever you are studying no matter how good will be dry and boring.
    Third, be real always. Often as a leader there is the temptation to be perfect and have everything together at all times. This pushes people away. Stay humble and be open and you will see that they will trust you and you will become friends.
    Finally some great books that I reccomend are
    Stomping out the darkness: Discover your true identity in Christ and stop putting up with the worlds garbage by Neil Andersen and Dave Park
    Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall

    God bless,

  • I’m sorry I don’t have any advice Lindsey, But I just wanted to say that I’ll be praying for your Bible study group and I hopes It all works out. 🙂

  • A couple weeks ago Sadie Clements and I started a on-line Bible study on Facebook. Basically, it’s just a secret page and we post a ton of random verses. Anywhatwho, Right now we have 6 people in our little study (We are studying the book of James) and it’s loads of fun!

    My one suggestion is lots. And Lots. Of prayer. (And more Prayer) (And then some more)

  • Hi guys! I’ve been having the same problem that Lindsey had here about a girls’ bible study. I have tried and tried multiple times to have a Bible study, both online and with close-by friends. But it just never works out! Right now, I am hoping that an older woman would step up and lead a group of 3-5 teenage girls (including myself), but so far, no one has volunteered. I have been praying and praying about it, but I’m kinda at a stuck point now. Any suggestions?

    • Without knowing your circumstances, like distance apart or what sort of schedules you have (like after school commitments), it wouldn’t work for me to give you specific ideas. What worked for our group may not suit your group’s dynamics.
      Having established there is no set formula, but to
      # seek the Lord with your whole heart ,
      # not forsake the gathering together of yourselves &
      # to share the Gospel (that is with both those who don’t yet know Jesus & those that do :).
      The important things like Pray & read His Word are the vital elements.
      Try asking your Pastor for some wisdom & prayer support toward this venture :).
      Discuss with the others who would be a part of your group (write down their ideas of how they see it could work & see if there is a common day/time that suits everyone to meet)
      Then commit to be there, even if not everyone can make it, still do it
      Because where 2 or 3 are gathered He will be there in their midst…. 🙂

  • One of my friends and I started a Bible study at my school when I was a junior in high school. Basically, we dug into the Bible and taught whatever God taught us. We didn’t follow a book in the Bible or another book. We took our questions to the Word and with the answers God taught us we wrote our own lessons. So that’s an idea! Ultimately, like everyone else has said, trust God and don’t get discouraged. Your work in the Lord is not in vain! (1 Corinthians 15:58) 🙂

  • There are a bunch of online study helps! Use a concordance for accurate word definitions. VERY IMPORTANT. Start with apologetics I.e. creation science museum Josh McDowell’s “evidence that demands a verdict” and “more evidence that demands a verdict”. These reinforce the validity of the Bible with historical and scientific proof!

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