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What Gears Up a Group for Great Discussions?

gear-up-blogHave you experienced a Bible study discussion that takes off—where everyone is involved and tracking together? A thrill goes through the whole group when someone exclaims, “I never saw that before!”

What gears up a group for those kinds of discussions? Here are three essentials:

Guidelines

Like orienting new climbers to basic safety principles, starting the group with a solid set of guidelines sets the stage for a group to be open and take risks that can lead to spiritual growth. With great guidelines, everyone understands how the group works, and everyone in the group can refer back to those guidelines to keep each other on track in the discussions. To learn more about Q Place Guidelines, check out “How do you keep group discussions safe?”

Trained Group Facilitators

Facilitating a group discussion is different from teaching: You don't want to climb a mountain and tell your group about the experience; you want to help them climb the mountain! To have an actively engaged discussion group, it is important to learn how to create an environment where everyone considers questions, explores Scripture, and shares discoveries. Q Place offers coaching with seasoned group facilitators so that ordinary Christians can learn how to facilitate great group discussions with people who aren't sure what they believe about God and the Bible.

Great Discussion Guides

A great Bible discussion guide can be like the ropes and gear that enable a rock climber to scale a cliff. There is enough structure to keep you on track, but plenty of room for movement so that you can come to see things for yourself.

Q Place Bible study guides are designed for:

  1. “Aha!” moments. “The reason I like these guides," one Q Place participant said, "is because they don’t tell you what to think, but they make you think.” They are filled with good questions that help you see for yourself—so your group can have lots of interesting discussions and meaningful discoveries.
  2. Focus on the Bible itself. These studies communicate that the Bible itself is worth serious examination. The questions do not require an “answer book” or an “answer person” in the group, but everyone can discover from the Bible itself what it actually says. The group is Bible-centered rather than leader-centered, and the Bible becomes the authority for those using Q Place study guides.
  3. Dynamic discussions. The questions filling these study guides are open-ended rather than fill-in-the-blank. They help groups observe, think, digest, and apply what they are learning.
  4. Options when group members are brand new to the Bible. Very few inductive Bible study materials are designed specifically for people who are unsure what they believe, who are discovering Jesus Christ for the first time through biblical accounts. Q Place Level 1 Bible studies provide that entry point. And when longtime Christians discuss the Bible with people who are discovering it for the first time, they also see familiar passages with fresh eyes.
  5. Options when group members have a wide range of Bible study experience. Q Place Level 2 and Level 3 Bible studies cover books and topics that build on the foundation of experience in Mark, Acts, and Genesis. The open-ended questions allow people of varying degrees of spiritual maturity to grow significantly in their faith.

In Q Place's web store, you can view a sample of each Bible study guide with a Table of Contents and 1st Discussion. Check out all of our Bible study guides here.