You Can Do It!
You have been chosen or volunteered to be a leader for the 3V Bible Studies.
Perhaps you have had experience in leading groups. You may even have been a
student-leader for Synago. Or perhaps, someone has noticed your potential for
leadership and encouraged you in this direction. Building upon your experience
and your potential, you can make a difference as a leader for these exciting
studies of God’s Word.
What a relief! You don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to be a
Biblescholar. The information the group needs is all in the book. So are the
directions and the discussion questions. You keep things moving. That may mean
calling on a specific person to answer a question or to start the discussion;
it may mean coming up with a follow-up question in order to clarify a response
or to move the discussion to a deeper level. It may mean keeping up with the
time and making decisions as to which questions to pursue in order to be
faithful to the group’s time commitment. It may mean deciding when to break
into smaller groups for a specific assignment. These are some of the tasks of a
facilitator. Here are some helpful tips for you:
Read through the particular study in advance. Look specifically for any
supplies that are needed, such as markers and paper (or markerboard) for lists
or drawing. Be sure the books are available so everyone can have his or her
own. Provide several Bibles in different versions also.
Sometimes the book will give a direction to role play or draw a scene. That’s
because people learn in many different ways. Sometimes seeing something acted
out or making a drawing, for example, gives them new insight. Discussion is
important, but be adventurous-try some of the other activities too.
The 3V Bible Studies are each so rich that groups find they can easily spend
several sessions on one passage. Try to determine how many you will be able to
devote to a particular study-one, two, three sessions? Use the planning guide
in the front of the book then to help you better guage how much time to spend
on each step. Then be flexible! The point is not necessarily to cover
everything. Use the guide; rely on the Spirit! If need be, ask the group if
they would like to go on with another session, if you’ve run out of the time
you had planned. Do start and end each session at the agreed-upon time.
Everyone has other commitments too.
Start with the questions that are in the book. Depending upon the time you
have, you may want to have the group deal with all of the questions in the
section or select a few. You may choose the ones to focus on, or invite the
others to choose a question they want to deal with. In a discussion, follow-up
questions are often appropriate for clarification or for probing the topic more
deeply. In addition, questions or directions, such as “Say more about that,”
“Give us an example,” and “What do the rest of you think?” can expand the
It's OK for the group to struggle with a question. As the leader, don't go with
just one "answer" and move on too quickly. Encourage others to respond also.
Most of the questions don't have one "right" answer, so invite more people to
contribute their ideas. You'll have more exciting discussion!
Using Small Groups
Especially in the section “What’s the Context?” you can have pairs or small
groups read and discuss a particular commentary and then report to the whole
group. If your group is large, working in smaller groups gives everyone a
chance to talk and be heard, especially those who are more reluctant to speak
up in a large group setting. You can also have different groups deal with the
different Views in “What’s Next?” For example, you might have the group divide
on the basis of their interest in either A, B, or C.
Set a tone of encouragement within the group. How?
— By listening and giving full attention to whomever is speaking. (No
— By honoring the ideas and insights of others even if you don’t
necessarily agree with them. (No disparaging remarks or rolling of eyes, but
it’s OK to say you disagree or have a different view.)
— By keeping confidentiality. (No talking outside the meeting about any
sharing inside the meeting.)
These instructions are not just for you as the leader, but for everyone in the
group. These are simple, yet fundamental ways in which we live our Christian
faith. As a leader, simply point these out in advance and encourage everyone in
creating a safe and loving environment for learning and growing in the faith.
You don’t have to do it all!
You may want to invite other students to join you in leading a session. For
example, you might ask one to be in charge of the “What’s the Text?” section,
and another to lead the discussion “After Looking at Both the Text and the
Context....” Consider having a small team prepare a closing worship for your
study. Direct them to the 3V Worship Suggestions. These are just a few ways you
can share leadership and participate more fully.