The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Women’s Bible or Book Study

The Ultimate Guide To Hosting A Women's Bible Or Book Study {Dolen Diaries}This school year I participated in 3 Bible/book studies and I loved it! I learn and grow so much from spending time in the Word with other women. I didn’t want that to end just because the school year did! After talking with a couple of friends, I decided to start organize a summer study. Our summer study is AUH-MAZING {not to sound all braggy but I seriously adore it} and I’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Hosting a Women’s Bible or Book Study so you can host your own awesome study!

Before you start, put some “feelers” out there to see if there is a need or interest. There’s nothing more frustrating than putting a lot of energy into something that there isn’t an interest in.

Pick A Topic Or Book

I recommend choosing something you are interested in! After all, if you are leading a study then you need to be passionate about the topic. You also want to think about the time of year and the season of life you are in. Since I was organizing this during the summer, I knew I didn’t want anything too heavy with a ton of homework. So I started looking into book studies and found this Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home by Courtney Joseph. It’s an easy read but still challenges me to grow as a follower of Christ, a wife, and mother. Courtney even provides free study questions on her website so you don’t have to come up with your own! Halleluiah! We are doing the WLW study in 10 weeks = 2 chapters a week. There is a two week marriage challenge so I rearranged the study questions a bit to fit our needs. If you want to follow my 10 week strategy, you can download that here!

Here’s a few other ideas & resources:

*I am an Amazon Affiliate so I do make a little commission if you purchase from Amazon through my site but these are honest recommendations regardless of where you purchase your study materials.

Set A Time Frame To Complete The Study

How long is your study going to be? Do you want it to be a seasonal thing (fall, winter, spring, summer?) or just a set number of weeks? I recommend making your study at least 6 weeks (9-10 is ideal) because it takes 3-4 sessions to really break the ice and get to know one another. Awesome things start to happen once you get past those getting to know you weeks, real relationships start to form.

Set A Day & Time

Ever hear the saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen”!?! Everyone is so busy! If you form your group then try to find a day & time that is best for everyone your group it will probably never take off. It’s better to look at your schedule and choose a day / time that works best for you. If others want to do the study they will make it work.

Invite, Invite, Invite!

6-10 ladies is an ideal small group, small enough to allow time for everyone to share yet large enough to have rich discussion. My summer study has 13 of us and God is doing awesome things but we often run over on time. For the most part, it’s not a huge deal since we meet in the evenings but if we were trying to meet say during the school day we couldn’t all be late picking up our kiddos.

*If you don’t have a group of women to study with already be BRAVE and BOLD! Reach out to some new ladies that share your faith. I did and it has totally blessed my life! Don’t be afraid! What’s the worst that can happen they can say no. Oh well! I was a little nervous about this myself but only one girl said no and that was because it didn’t work with her husband’s work schedule.

Set Your Location

Our summer study is hosted in my friend, Sarah’s home. She has a big, beautiful house perfect for entertaining. I think it makes the study feel more personal and cozy but you can host anywhere! A private room at a church or library would be free options.

Set Expectations & Get A Commitment

You have to set expectations so everyone is starting off on the same foot and understands what they are signing up for. You may think something is common sense but not everyone is coming from the same place so it’s better to spell it out upfront than deal with sticky situations later.

Send a formal e-mail with all the details and ask for a commitment. Nothing can fizzle out a group faster than flakey attendees. Give them an out with grace. Remind them that it’s okay if they aren’t in a season where they can commit to a study right now but you’ll ask them again next time. As women I know we can feel pressure to say yes when we really should say no.

Here’s the e-mail I sent to my group. *I didn’t even scare anyone off!

Hi ladies! I am SO excited about our study this summer! I think this is going to be such an awesome season for all of us! You might want to save this e-mail because this bad boy is going to contain it all!

  • Girl’s Night June 3rd 7:00 pm at Sarah Robert’s Home {this is where we will be meeting every week!}Our 1st official meeting will be on June 17th from 7:00 – 9:00.
  • Her address is: 1234 Book Study Lane*photo attached
  • I drive a white limo and will be parked on the street right in front of her house. You shouldn’t be able to miss my ride!
  • Below is a google doc where you can sign up to bring a dessert or app for the evening.
  • I will be handing out the questions you’ll need to answer for each session & a notebook to record it all in at Girl’s Night.
  • You will need to read the 1st two chapters of your Women Living Well Book. If you haven’t gotten your book yet you can order it here from Amazon.
  • We will skip the 24th and resume July 1st. We will meet every Tuesday starting July 1st until our last meeting on August 26th from 7:00 – 9:00 at Sarah’s house.
  • Each week we will rotate who is playing hostess
  • That person will be in charge of food & drink for that evening.
  • Not everyone shares the same gifts. If you love to go over the top on this kind of thing, then go ahead. If you this sort of thing isn’t your gift and you want to go basic, then go ahead! I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to meet a certain standard or can’t do what they love to do because they don’t want to make others feel bad. We all have enough pressure in our lives and this is NOT one of them!  
  • You can sign up for this on the 2nd google doc below.
  • Expectations: I really don’t want to scare anyone off, but I think we need to talk about the expectations so we are all on the same page.
  • Fight Club Rules apply…You DO NOT talk about Fight Club or Vegas Rules…what happens in Bible Study stays in Bible Study
  • We need to be able to share on Tuesday evenings without the worry of our stuff becoming the topic at the next wine night or play date at the park. *I don’t believe that there is anyone attending that we have to worry about this with but I wanted to say it just to make sure we were all on the same page.
  • Grace
  • My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20
    • We are all coming from different places. Some things are harder for us than they are for others. We need to show each other grace and remember we are all women and in today’s world that can be pretty tough!
    • When we need to speak truth into one another’s lives we will do it with love and grace, not with judgment or anger.
  • Attendance and Punctuality
    • It’s summer time and vacations happen so if you are going to miss a week simply keep reading and we’ll catch ya next time. *Please let me know if you are going to miss!
    • Our meetings will start at 7:00 and end at 9:00. Please be on time.
    • If something unexpected happens and you are running late please send a text letting us know ASAP.
  • Prayer
    • We will be taking prayer requests each week. Please pray for our group members throughout the week. {Lord knows I could use it!}

Ok ladies, I hope I haven’t overwhelmed or scared you! I am really looking forward to our time together! I think it will be such a blessing in my life! See you all on June 3rd! *If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me anytime! My cell & e-mail are listed below!

Lots of Love,
Shelly

Make It An Event

How often do you get to get out of the house without kiddos to hangout with other amazing mamas!?! Make your study sessions a special event by having at least a little refreshment available {fun paper napkins, paper straws, and mason jars for drinks are always my favorites!}. Having everyone sign up for a week they are in charge of food & drink takes the pressure off of one person and allows those of us who love to play hostess a time shine. Our group loves seeing what people come up with! We’ve had some very tasty nibbles and drinks these two are so far my faves…dark chocolate covered salted almonds from Trader Joes & Strawberry, Lime, Cucumber, & Mint Water by Back To Her Roots {seriously you have to try both of these!}.

Structure The Sessions

Here is our study session schedule:

  • 7:00-7:15 arrival, grab a drink, and a snack
  • 7:15 prayer requests *I record our prayer requests each week. We go around the room I read their prayer request from the week before, ask them how their week was, and ask for this week’s prayer requests. This is probably the most fruitful time of our study. We are able to encourage each other and speak truth in each other’s lives in a loving way. **Remind your girls that there is NO PRAYER REQUEST TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL, God wants us to bring it all to Him! Also just because something big is happening with one person it doesn’t mean that another smaller prayer request is not important, too.
  • 8:00-ish I’m not super strict on time keeping once we are seated. If prayer requests run later then I figure the Spirit is with us and that’s where we need to be. I open up the discussion by asking if there was anything that stood out from the chapters or questions. Who ever speaks up first that’s where we start. Once a topic has been discussed and the conversation dies down I ask if anyone else wants to add something before moving on to the next question. It’s very loose in our group and it works for us. You could be more formal and go question by question. Just remember to respectfully understand that not everyone will be comfortable talking a lot.
  • 9:00 we close in prayer.

When we started we closed with prayer requests but we all prefer to start with them. It’s nice to check in with everyone and see where everyone is at, first thing. It allows for our discussion to be more meaningful because we can point things out to one another to help with a struggle and I think it just warms everyone up.

Send Weekly Updates

I send weekly updates a day or two after our study. They include the prayer requests from that week and a reminder of what chapters and questions we are on. I like to send all the previous updates under the one from the new week. I think it’s fun to keep track of prayer requests and see how He is working in our lives.

Connect Outside Of The Study

Your sessions will be deeper if you get to know each other on a personal & fun level. Sarah just hosted a super fun 4th of July party with all of our study friends. I’m hosting a couples only BBQ in a couple of weeks and we are also planning a girl’s night.

So there you have it The Ultimate Guide To Hosting a Women’s Bible or Book Study. I hope you give this a whirl and have an amazing study experience!

Lots of Love,
Shelly

Comments

  1. says

    Stopping by from Hit Me With Your Best Shot… WOW!! This is just what I needed. I’ve feel the need and desire to start a bible study with some of the moms from my son’s pre-school. I just wasn’t 100% sure how to go about it. I’m saving this and will be using it a LOT!!! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom so the rest of us can be more fruitful! 😀
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