When personal Bible reading is brought into the community all members profit. What are the benefits of reading the Bible with a group? The pyramid below shows the cascading benefits of deeper engagement in the Word of God with others. While people normally retain only 10% of what they read, when they discuss it with others that number increases to 50%. Consider these other blessings of reading the Bible with a small group:
- Small groups offer multiple perspectives of the same passages
- Small groups provide accountability for individual members
- Small groups stimulate new ideas and applications for the Bible reading
- Small groups create and sustain community for fellowship and encouragement through difficult times
- Small groups strengthen the communication skills of each member
The following plan from The One Year Chronological Study Bible will help you use the features of this bible as you read communally:
• Meet together weekly with a small group to discuss the readings and each person’s insights.
• Have group members take turns telling the developing story from week to week .
• Use the daily introductions, discovery questions, and articles (or one of the many support resources available on the CBT website) to stimulate thought and discussion.
• Give each participant an opportunity to share how the developing story confronts his or her personal story.
• At the end of the year’s reading (or any set amount of time), provide an opportunity for each group participant to share with the group a major insight that transformed an area of his or her life.