There has never been a better time to teach the Bible or lead a Bible study group than there is today. We have incredible tools for Bible study, for outreach, for discipleship, for keeping up with folks.
Email. If you are a Bible study leader, email is your friend. I recommend you email your group every week and tell them how excited you are about studying the Word and how you look forward to teaching on Sunday. You might want to assign someone in your group to write up prayer requests and email them to the group. My 92-year-old mother does this in her Sunday school class. You can email assignments. Ask them to Google around a little about this or that. Ask them to look for a picture or watch a video before class.
Facebook. Every group should have a Facebook group. It is a great way for the group to keep up with one another. Life is often about minutia. It is about details. It is about sharing the simple pleasures of life. Facebook helps us to do that.
Facebook can also help us with outreach. Imagine this: every group member checks in every week on Facebook. They update their status with something like, “great to be in small group this week.” Or, “so looking forward to being with my best friends in small group this week. Why not join us?”
Okay, let’s do some math. Suppose you have 20 people in your group. Suppose all of them do this. Suppose they check-in at the beginning of class and one other time during the week they post on Facebook something about their group. Suppose each of them has 1000 friends. (I have about 3000.)
|20||People in your group.|
|X2||Updates per week.|
|X1000||Friends per group member.|
|40,000||People per week hear about your group per week.|
|X52||Weeks per year.|
|2,080,000||Times per year your group is mentioned to your group members’ friends.|
Bible Study. We have better tools for studying the Bible than we have ever had. I use the Logos program every day as I write Bible study lessons. Let’s say this week’s lesson is on John 11, the raising of Lazarus. If Max Lucado or John MacArthur or Charles Swindoll or Beth Moore ever said anything about the raising of Lazarus, I will likely find it and provide it to the teachers I serve. What a time to be alive! Logos makes it easy to do horizontal word studies—where I can find how this word is translated in this translation every other time it is used. They taught us to do this in Greek class, but it took so long I never actually did it.
I actually use WordSearch to do horizontal word studies. This is where I will look at 15 different translations and see how the translators translated a particular word in this particular verse. What a time to be alive!
Texting. As of this writing I may be the last person on the planet that has a cell phone that is not a smartphone. But my kids all have smartphones. On the same device they can receive a call, a text, or a Facebook update. I asked them recently which one they were most likely to respond to the quickest. Hands down, text.
Allan Taylor tells me they do a “can you hear me now” Sunday from time to time. This is where they contact prospects and absentees during class. They take a few minutes at the beginning of class to contact people. He emphasizes that you need to keep it really friendly. A friendly text from people in your group on a regular basis that says, “we missed you this week ;-)” might go a long way toward getting people to come back. It is free and easy and only takes a moment. What a time to be alive!
I recommend you set up a text group for your class and from time to time send everyone a text. Tell them you are looking forward to the lesson on Sunday. Tell them you are looking forward to the fellowship. Tell them the surgery was a success. Keep up. Connect. It has never been easier. What a time to be alive!
Twitter. You can communicate with class members and prospects quickly and concisely using Twitter. These “real-time” messages, called Tweets, are limited to 140 typed characters. Once you get the Twitter account established, class members choose to “follow” you, and then they receive any Tweet you send. An added advantage is that your Twitter account can also be set to also automatically post to your Facebook page. That way, any Tweet you send will also be seen by your Facebook friends.
 Mark Lott.
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