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Leading a Small Group Bible Study: Set the Tone with Music

Back in my single days, I taught a single adult Bible study class made up of men and women of all ages that enjoyed digging into and discussing Scripture with me every week. I learned a lot about leading a small group Bible study and shared some of what I learned via a blog I created dedicated to the subject. This post is a refresh of a post that appeared on that blog.

Imagine that you’re visiting a small group for the first time.  On your way to what you hope will be the group of your dreams, you pass a small group in another room which is alive with music, chattering, and smiling faces.  But once you reach your destination, you find stillness and soft voices.

Wouldn’t you want to go back to the first room?

As teachers, we want our classes to be places where people feel free to talk and share.  But first we must create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

To create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, you can:

A good first step in creating an atmosphere in which people want to linger is some good upbeat music.  Something that brings a smile to your face, a bounce to your step, and a feeling of “Hey, y’all!”  (Or “Hey, you guys!” for northerners.)

It can be as simple as doing one of the following:

  • Use a CD player.  Keep an inexpensive CD player with your small group gear, along with a collection of CD’s or you’ll end up listening to the same CD for a year.  Trust me – I  KNOW. You can work with the music that you already have by burning CD’s or grabbing some from your stash.
  • Bring a radio to class and tune in to a Christian station.  This will work only if you get good reception in the room in which your group meets. And that’s not a given (the room my class met in did not get good reception at all), so test it out first.
  • Create a small group playlist for your smartphone/tablet.  Keep a portable speaker system with your small group gear. If you’re using your phone, be sure to put it in airplane mode first so that the music isn’t interrupted by a phone call…and so that you won’t forget and answer the phone while it’s on speaker. (Can we say awkward?) Or you could use an old phone that doesn’t have service activated for playing music.

Think about whether or not small group members will need to reach you before choosing to use your phone for playing music.

And a note about volume: the music should be loud enough to be heard, but quiet enough for people to carry on a conversation. Think “fun and casual,” not “everybody dance now!”

To get you started with your small group playlist, here are a few good options:

  • Forever Reign – Hillsong
  • Running – Whiling
  • Gold – Britt Nicole
  • Good Morning – Mandisa
  • I Need a Miracle – Third Day
  • God’s Not Dead – Newsboys
  • Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
  • Made to Love – tobyMac
  • Friend of God – Israel & New Breed

Now it’s your turn – what would you add to your small group playlist?

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