On-Campus Study Session

agly3“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD.” Ezra 7:10

The weather may be warm and the sun may be shining, but we’re quickly approaching the start of a new school year. Many will be heading off to college––some for the first time. The beginning of a new school year offers a great opportunity to help out. Whether it’s your first year at a new school, or you’re returning to campus, an on-campus study session is a great way to make new friends or renew bonds with old ones.

Getting started

Assuming that you’re starting out at a new school, organizing a study group is a great way to get to know people. As you meet people, or as a way of meeting them, let them know that you’re thinking of starting a Bible study group. You may ask several girls on your hall in your dorm or some people from your biology class. I would recommend keeping it small at first, only 4–6 people.

When you have your group together, discuss a day and time. Keep in mind that college schedules widely vary. Many students have classes or labs in the evenings, or work jobs after class to make extra money. You may have interested people who just won’t be able to participate at the time. You may also find that your group has time available during an afternoon or on a Saturday morning. Once you have a day and time to meet, you need to decide on a location. You may reserve a study room in the library, meet in someone’s dorm room (if all of your study buddies are female), or find a quiet coffee shop or book store.

dbr3Next, choose a topic to study. This will help keep things moving when you get together. Don’t count on just coming together without a topic or book to discuss––it may result in everyone sitting and staring at one another. Decide on a book of the Bible that everyone agrees on. Or choose to discuss a specific topic, such as gossip, purity, or temptation. You may also agree on a book about a biblical topic to study by an author you’d all like to read. Just remember that although other authors may have very biblical things to say on certain topics, there is only one Author and Book you should ultimately go to for answers.

Your study session

Although there may be occasional exceptions, it’s important that everyone arrive to the session on time. You are all taking time out of busy schedules and study time and activities to be there, so be considerate of others’ time. The routine of the session itself is up to you. You may choose to start with prayer requests and praises and then have some time of prayer. Or you may leave that until the end. Even though praying out loud may seem awkward at first, try it anyways, even if it’s just a short prayer, and allow all group members to take turns leading in the upcoming weeks – praying out loud in a group setting is a skill that will serve all of you well throughout the years. Designate someone to keep everyone on topic. However, there may be times when something is on the heart of someone, and it’s completely appropriate to get sidetracked in order to develop closer relationships with others and with God through life experiences.

Although there should be some sense of routine, also remember to keep it casual. Have a snack on hand, or a pot of coffee available. Enjoy one another’s company and relationship while taking time out of school studies to study God’s Word.

By Lisa Grimenstein

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