In my last newsletter article, I shared a letter I’d written to four persons who were leaving my class to begin a new class. Although the letter was written not that long go (2018), much has happened since then, obviously.
Here are some additional things I would say to a new Bible study leader today:
Be aware that everyone is wounded. No one escaped the pain of the pandemic. So, be even more patient, more sensitive, more open. Your class members are in grief. Mourn with those who mourn.
There is hope. The vaccinations and the safety measures are working. Schools will be back to normal schedules this fall, we hope. Vacations can be taken this summer, we hope. Grandparents can give long, long-longed-for hugs soon, we hope. All of this is great news. The downside is that your class members will soon be hitting the road to make visits and take vacations. Celebrate these new opportunities and freedoms without making them feel guilty for missing your weekly words of wisdom. Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Explore options. Nothing in the Bible insists that discipleship training must be done on Sunday mornings. Be willing to adapt to a new schedule.
Engage the virtual community. Many churches and classes have added persons to their virtual fellowship. One pastor told me that he used to have 30-40 persons attend his pre-pandemic Bible Study. During the pandemic, he began offering the study on Wednesday evenings by zoom. Now, he has 130-150 in attendance. He’s not sure he wants to go back to meeting in person, as he is reaching so many more persons virtually. The challenge is how to incorporate the virtual class members into the local church community. This will take some creative experimentation. Do you have suggestions?
These thoughts above are from Dr. Rick Jordan, our partner based out of Lewisville, North Carolina. He has been in various roles from a local church level to state and national leadership roles. For more information on how he can help you, contact him here.