5 Fun Bible Study Ideas for Busy Families
If you’re like our family, life has gotten extremely busy juggling sports, dance, music lessons, sports, school activities, volunteer activities, sports, work events and on and on and on. (Did I mention sports?) So it comes as no surprise that when it’s time to head to our small group Bible study, it can be hard to rally and show up, let alone plan a good meeting. Thankfully, as our lives have changed, our community has adapted to keep things manageable, effective, AND interesting.
Here are 5 "parent-tested" ideas for your small group to try:
- A change of scenery – if you’ve been meeting in the same location for years, a simple change in venue can make a big difference. Move a meeting from late nights to early mornings or vice versa to avoid child care issues or activity conflicts. If you’ve been meeting at church, try rotating homes to give one family a break on driving or child care. Or try the meeting over early breakfast. Our group moved to breakfast at a central location allowing us to meet, eat and still get to work on time!
- Bring in help – steal a page used by many book clubs and find a local author or expert that is willing to come in and talk to your group. You don’t need a theologian or bestselling writer to have an engaging discussion that can fuel several great meetings. Get a trainer from the local health club to talk about fitness, a nutritionist or someone with a passion for healthy cooking to share simple food ideas, a teacher (of kids older than yours) to share what he/she is seeing in school or a seasoned parent (or grandparent) to share their wisdom. Many guests are happy to share their passion or to have the opportunity to promote their expertise. Then have fun over the next few meetings discussing the Biblical application for your families!
- Try new resources– there are a tremendous amount of resources available for groups. Books and programs can provide content to span many months. But there are other options for those who do not want to commit to a long-term plan or a lot of homework. Use YouTube or podcasts of great pastors or experts to start discussions. Many popular Bible apps, like the YouVersion Bible, have reading plans from well-known authors and various topics that last anywhere from three to 30 days. Cover each ‘day’ in your small group or complete them between meetings and bring highlights to the group for discussion.
Another option: take something that is happening in the world and find an interesting article or blog to discuss during your study. This is a great way to gain insights from others and go deeper on how to live authentically in response to that topic. From marriage or money to parenting or pornography, your group can have lively and beneficial meetings discussing relevant topics.
- Mix it up– if you do a separate women and men’s group try joining together for a time or for topics of mutual interest. This is particularly effective with parenting or relationship topics where you benefit from working together along with other couples. If you have young kids, many churches have programing during the week and are happy to have families use their childcare so that small groups can meet on those nights. Take your kids to church programing and then use that as small group time for couples!
- Try family groups– The book Sticky Faith (an excellent resource by Dr.’s Kara Powell and Chap Clark) make a compelling case for having other trusted adults in the lives of our kids to impact their lifelong faith development. Making this happen can be as easy as making social plans on a regular basis with your small group families.
If you’re ready to really step it up, try something our small group calls Family Club. Patterned after Young Life clubs for young adults, our families meet once a month during the school year. Parents or kids lead a few worship songs (not musical? No worries, just find YouTube videos that show the lyrics), a fun game or two, give a small talk (older kids can do this too!), and bring some snacks to share. Families then gather to discuss the talk or answer a few questions together. No one has to be a theologian or rock star to make these meetings amazing. The value comes in having all the generations interacting and impacting each other’s lives for spiritual growth.
Written by Rafael Antonio Robert