In a previous article, Five Tools Every Small Group Leader Needs, we laid out the fundamentals of what you need as a small group leader. The five tools looked at in that article were a Bible, prayer, a small group, willingness to submit to God’s plans, and StudyChurch online tools. In this article, we are going to look more in-depth into the best Bible study tools.
A Second Bible
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Ever wanted to take notes in your bible but were too scared to mark it up? Loose leaf, journaling, or wide-margin Bibles are a bible study goer’s best friend. With the extra space on the sides and the knowledge that you can mark up this Bible, these Bibles have been a big staple for many a Bible study participant. Taking detailed notes of each study that you go through will help you when you go back later. You will have that little comment that you totally forgot you had in there that will lead to more discovery. This leads to my next point!
Markers, colored pencils, and highlighters
Ok, right now you may be saying, “I’m not in kindergarten anymore! Why would I want those!?” Actually, there is a very good reason to have these. Taking good notes during a study can help improve your focus and help you have a little fun with it. This Bible study tool gives you a way to take notes and easily mark things of importance to you. Plus, you get fun color-coordinated notes!
Bible Concordance and Commentaries
Isn’t it frustrating when you are going through a Bible study and you come to a word or passage that just doesn’t make any sense? Well, with these useful Bible study tools you can look up words easily and have other people’s thoughts on the passage right at your fingertips. You can find small travel-sized concordances and commentaries and bring them to class to give you a little extra edge. Logos has some of the best concordances and commentaries and is a great software to use for any small group.
A Bible Concordance gives you a definition for each and every word you may find in your Bible. Some Bibles have this already in the back. If you are looking for another person’s opinion on a passage or phrase, a Bible Commentary is your best bet. Both of these Bible study tools will help you learn and grow in your small group and will give you a deeper look into the scriptures.
A Bible Study is worth nothing if it doesn’t affect your life. We run the risk of deceiving ourselves as it says in James 1:22:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Keeping a good Journal to record things that stick out can really help with the application process. Simply hearing a message or going through a Bible study does not give you the real fruit that you should be looking to cultivate.
Grab your journal and an accountability partner that you can open up to, preferably someone in your bible study’s small group. Meet on a regular basis and make sure you document what you learn in your journal.
An Audio Bible
Do you find yourself just scanning over pages trying to read but your brain just won’t take in the information? I think it happens to everyone, honestly! But when we are reading and trying to study God’s word we can miss so much. Not to mention accidentally taking things out of context.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
When I think of a Bible Study, I normally imagine myself at a desk with pen and marker. But did you know that going over a passage multiple times can help cement it in your mind? However, sometimes reading a chapter or book over and over again isn’t practical, that’s why we recommend that you use a good audio Bible.
Another thing you can do is when you go through a chapter or book try to look for specific things. In one of the best Bible studies I’ve been to, the leader told us to look for the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How each time we re-read something. Slowing down and using this Bible study tool will bring out a whole new level in understanding the scriptures.
StudyChurch online Bible study tool
StudyChurch gives your group a space to use when meeting. We like to call it “the group Hub”. From creating studies to sending out assignments, this Bible study tool puts all that you need for your small group in one place.
As an online small group system, StudyChurch can get mistaken as something that you can only use when hosting a group online. That is not the case, however. Granted, it is definitely something that can be used that way, but StudyChurch was designed to be a tool that you can supplement in your small group meetings. We want group leaders to have a spot where they can create a group, contact members throughout the week, send out assignments, and write original studies.
These are the best Bible study tools that you should have for your Bible study. With these tools, we hope that you will grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and that your small group will learn more than ever before.
What is your go-to to bring to your small group? Comment below with your ideas!