An Introduction to Having a Worship Team Bible Study
In my early years leading worship, I never really thought about having a team Bible study.
It wasn’t until Mike Bickle, the director here at the house of prayer in Kansas City pointed out the importance of having a real connection to the Word with your team that I began having one.
It’s great having a team that plays well musically and sings compelling songs, but I remember thinking, I really want to make the Word a primary value for my team both on and off the platform. Having a Bible study became something I wanted to pursue.
Maybe a team Bible study seems like just another task to add to your list or maybe the idea has never even crossed your mind. No matter where you find yourself today, having a Bible study with your team is not only doable, it’s so worth it.
In upcoming posts, I’m going to be sharing positive trends I’ve seen in my team along with some specific things I’ve done during my Bible studies over the years. For now, here are six tips for making a team Bible study sustainable and fun:
1. Pick the right study.
Keep it simple. I learned this the hard way. My first team study was on the book of Galatians. That’s an intense book to study, period, and definitely wasn’t the best place to start. It didn’t help that I required each person on my team to buy an inch and a half thick commentary and expected them to read a chapter each week and come prepared to discuss it. (Another unrealistic expectation). Think simple, digestible, and not too time-consuming for people to accomplish, read, or study during the week before you meet.
2. Get people talking.
My definition of a successful Bible study is when everyone participates and speaks at least once. Sometimes this happens naturally, but often it takes you priming the pump and getting the ball rolling. When studying Scripture, my friend Brandon always asks these three questions: Why is that there? Why does that matter? Why does that matter now? I’d encourage you to direct these types of questions to your team. Even if you already know the answer, ask it anyway. Some people are shy, some aren’t confident in their knowledge of the word, and some people are just scared of talking in public. It helps to call on people with pointed questions. People have a lot more to share than they let on, so sometimes you have to pull it out of them.
3. Make it practical.
Don’t just ask theological questions. When pressured to come up with a theological argument or scriptural insight, some people can’t, or think it won’t be deep enough, so they shut down. They’re more comfortable speaking from their own experience. Many times, hearing what a verse means to someone personally or how someone has applied it can be the most fruitful time yielding the most valuable insights.
4. Be consistent.
Once you start, don’t stop, and try not to cancel all the time. You can’t let a lack of inspiration, a bad day, or a busy week cause you to cancel. Honestly, if I canceled our Bible study based on how I felt, I’d probably cancel every other week! Consistency is key. Though they might not come right out and say it, this gathering likely means a lot to your team. Stay with it!
5. Keep it to an hour.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but especially when you’re first starting out, I’ve found that one hour is a good amount of time to connect over a verse or topic and have some pretty good discussion. For years, I tagged our Bible study onto an already-planned set. So instead of my team having to carve out a separate hour or two in their week, they just added one hour onto the back or front end of a set. You might even consider doing an hour of study and then an hour of fellowship. It’s also important to respect people’s time by starting and ending when you say you will.
6. Have coffee.
Whether you’re meeting at your local coffee shop, church, or home, coffee can go a long way toward building relationships and making people feel welcome. We tend to build community around food and drink and having them as a part of your Bible study routine will contribute a lot to the environment. (Yes, I do realize I have my own coffee Instagram and am pretty biased on this point). 🙂
What are your experiences having a team Bible study? What has worked and what hasn’t? I would love to hear your thoughts below.
Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Kristiansand, Norway. Check out more of his work here.