Why would I lead a Year of Biblical Literacy small group?
Chances are that if you are curious about leading a group, you are already a relatively big fan of the Bible and want to share that with others. By facilitating a small group, you embrace the blessed pleasure of guiding others into the beautiful story of God in Scripture.
What if I’m not a theologian or Bible scholar?
There are many different types of leaders, some are indeed theologians or Bible scholars while the majority are not. If you do not have formal Bible training, there is no need to worry! You still have so much to offer, possibly even more in the form of openness and wonder than someone who is indeed a theologian or Bible scholar.
No matter what type of leader you are, curiousity is your best friend in Biblical education, just as it is in any learning situation. Furthermore, the prayerful discussion-based approach we take in small group material intentionally sets God and His words revealed in Scripture as the authority in the room. To be able to lead a group, all you need to do is read, facilitate discussion, and trust in the work of God’s Spirit.
What should I expect from the YOBL small group material?
The small group material is ultimately a tool to help facilitate a guided discussion, with questions that build upon one another. Questions range from highly intellectual to tenderly personal to intentionally practical. Along with discussing, a weekly ground rule or value orients a group to putting the way of Jesus into practice during the meeting. By maintaining this structure throughout each week, the material itself helps to facilitate a practice space for small groups — like a dojo for the Kingdom with Jesus as our master instructor.
How should I use the material?
As mentioned above, each material is written in the same structure, with 10-segments you can expect to see every week. We have a wide range of group dynamics in our church and we found that the segmented material became the lowest common denominator for all groups to be able to participate in the same material.
We absolutely do not presume to know what is best for your group or context. We wrote for our community groups (i.e., small groups) in the San Francisco Bay Area with particular shepherding needs, but your needs are likely different. We encourage you to read through the material before each week’s meeting and adapt it to your context as you see fit. Think of it more as a safety net than script. Follow it when helpful and also feel free to let each discussion take on a life of its own!