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The Study You Choose is Really Important
Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to be involved in many small groups. I am an extrovert, so anytime I get a chance to break open the Word with friends–I don’t hesitate to join.
What I have learned is that the study that you choose can make or break the group–especially when some or all of the participants are new believers.
In my experience, you don’t want to choose a study or book that is too complicated or in-depth. Of course, that isn’t always true–some new believers want to dive right into the deep end of Bible study.
Consider some of these foundational topics:
- Introduction to prayer
- Armor of God from Ephesians 6
- Christian marriage
- Christian parenting
- Finding your purpose in Christ
So Which Study or Book Should You Choose?
These seven books are certainly not the only choices for new believers. I mean, this is a great place to start, but the possibilities are endless. Maybe even consider studying the actual Bible and teaching the members of your small group how to draw her own conclusions about the meaning of the scripture using the SOAP method.
Whatever book you decide on, be sure that you pray for guidance during the choosing process and allow the Lord to lead you to exactly the right study.
Please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments, I’m always on the lookout for ideas!
Seven Bible Studies for New Believers
The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:
- This is a book that I read on my own a few years ago and at the time I wished I had a group of people to process the book with. I would venture to say that this book has had the biggest impact on my prayer life. Yes, it’s well-written and all of that but even more–it exposes the POWER of prayer as a first resort–not the last. There are a ton of free resources out there for “The Circle Maker” so if you’re going to offer this as a small group study–check them out! I will also add that this would be an ideal choice for a group of men and women!
The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer:
- If you have never read anything by Priscilla Shirer then you need to choose this book! Most Christians are familiar with the scripture in Ephesians 6 that talks about the armor of God–but even if you’ve read every other book on this topic, there is nothing like the perspective of Priscilla Shirer. She is a gifted author with a God-given ability to break complicated topics into digestible, memorable nuggets of wisdom. This is a workbook that follows along with a DVD series and leader kit, but our group didn’t use the DVDs because they are pretty costly. We found that we didn’t really miss them either. This study is equal parts Biblical study and life application questions and would work for new believers or old–but I would say it’s primarily geared towards women.
Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson:
- The tagline of this book says it all, “Discovering and enjoying what God can do through you.” This book focuses on giving the reader a renewed focus on her calling. This book will challenge and sharpen even the most dedicated believer, but will not leave new Christians behind either. Susie Larson has a very beautiful way of writing so reading this book is quite enjoyable. At the end of each chapter, there are a ton of questions that make you think–both Biblical and life application questions. Keep in mind that this is not a Bible-based study, but focuses more on the reader and how God sees her; however, there is still plenty of scripture referenced. Again, this study is written for women and some of the questions do go pretty deep.
Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs:
- This would be an awesome study to do with other couples. So often we think that other people’s marriages are perfect–but when we do these studies with other trusted friends, we realize every marriage has its struggles. And that’s OK! This book (study and workbook) follow along with a DVD teaching but again–I don’t think it’s required.
The Strong-Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson:
- So this book is amazing! I love anything written by Dr. James Dobson, but if you have a child (even if you wouldn’t necessarily call him/her “strong-willed”) then you will benefit from this study! Included with the Leader Kit is a book and a DVD with clips of Dr. Dobson lecturing. It’s probably really good, but again–I didn’t use it. (The Leader Kit is much cheaper at ChristianBook.com so I linked there instead of Amazon.) I love that this book was written so long ago (and revised many times over) but it has withstood the test of time–it’s not a fad, you guys…it’s a Biblically-based way of parenting. The relationship with my middle son–who is definitely strong-willed–has been changed forever thanks to prayer and the lessons learned from this book. No exaggeration!
Freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson:
- This is a 13-week discipleship program for Christians. This is one study that I have not done, but I am eager to start this one in the fall. I have heard great things. I also like how this isn’t geared specifically towards men or women, so it would be perfect for a mixed group. It is my understanding that this book gives Biblical direction on what to do AFTER you have made a commitment to Christ and is a very thorough discipleship program. I do plan on using the DVDs just FYI.
Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk:
- The tagline is, “10 myths moms believe and why we all need to knock it off.” As a mom of 3 boys–I LOVE that! There is a DVD/study guide kit available from ChristianBook.com and I think only 1 member of the group needs to buy it in order to facilitate discussion during the meeting. This study is definitely NOT a Biblical study, although it is written by Christian authors so the ‘myths’ are based on Christian beliefs. I see this study being perfect for a group of young moms–I wish I would have found this during my first year of parenting!
So did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let me know if you have any other suggestions.