Seven Planning Tips for a Great Women's Bible Study

by Elizabeth Luter and Dale McCleskey

Coordinating a women's Bible study program in a church for the first time can be intimidating, but you can organize, publicize, and implement this ministry with some solid planning and God's leadership. Whether you have a designated women's ministry leader or not, Bible study coordination responsibilities include:

  • selecting the studies and their leaders;
  • scheduling;
  • promotion and enrollment;
  • coordinating and supporting the work of study facilitators;
  • ordering and distributing resources;
  • evaluating group facilitators, resources and group experiences.

Of course, this doesn't mean you have to do everything by yourself. Enlist other women's leaders or volunteers to help you with this.

Here are seven tips to get you started planning a great Bible study.

  1. Enlist the support of your pastor. Get him on board and ask him to make these women's study opportunities known to the congregation once details are determined.
  2. Talk with ladies to determine the level of interest. Consider distributing questionnaires to your ladies. Ask for suggestions on what study to do (you may want to provide a list to choose from), when to meet, and so forth.
  3. Schedule the weeks on the church calendar that will allow the greatest participation. Fall and spring studies usually result in more participation than do summer sessions. However, summertime may afford some persons with seasonal careers - such as school teachers - an opportunity to attend.
  4. Offer child care. This will increase your attendance and ensure greater weekly participation.
  5. Decide on the schedule. Most Bible studies are designed for a minimum of 50 minutes with two hours suggested for an in-depth study.
  6. Order member books between four and six weeks in advance. After estimating the number of participants, decide if the church will pay for member books or if participants will pay for their own. Sometimes when members pay for part or all of the cost of their books, they make a more serious commitment to the study. Have scholarships available for those who can't pay.
  7. If your groups will meet at church, reserve small-group meeting rooms for the number of groups you will have. Arrange the meeting rooms to be as intimate as possible.
Adapted from Transformed Lives: Taking Women's Ministry to the Next Level, an essential women's leadership resource.

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