Through this article, I’d like to offer some advice to those who want to start and lead a Bible Study group through Skype. I have been leading such a group for the last 11 months, every evening, teaching 11 people. I began it with just one person after I studied the course “Marriage without Regrets” at the Institute of Inductive Bible Study Precept Ministries Moldova last autumn. A little later, another person joined us, who later testified her faith in the Lord Jesus through baptism and joined “Buna Vestire” church in Chisinau which I am a part of, too. After this, gradually, other two people joined us. Daily and in-depth study of God’s Word brought them good spiritual growth.
Advantages of studying the Bible via Skype
I think the advantage of this method is that people can join the group from any corner of the world. My group includes people from 3 countries, and when I am away from home, I can still lead my group virtually from a distance.
A Bible study group through Skype is an advantage both to mothers and to people who have difficulty to move around. There are many mothers in my group, and they recognize that this method is convenient for them because it gives them flexibility, and the evening time spent in the study of the Word contains valuable spiritual food, they say.
How to start a Bible Study group through Skype?
Begin with prayer
Ask God to give you people with whom you will start this group, who will believe in the Gospel, be baptized and become faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul urged Christians in Colossae to pray for him and his team that God would open the door for the Gospel despite the difficult circumstances he was in:
At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison (Colossians 4:3)
Choose a Bible course
Think which Bible course you will study with your future group. I recommend you the Inductive Bible studies from Precept Ministries Eurasia or Precept Ministries International. The choices are many and for all age categories. The textbooks can be purchased at the Christian Book Store “Precepts from the Word” in Chisinau or online at Precept Ministries International Store. I also recommend you to become a student at the Institute of Inductive Bible Study in Moldova. The next session will be held from September 21 through October 2 in Chisinau where the course “Marriage Without Regrets” will be studied. At the moment, my group and I are studying a 40-minute course “Heaven, Hell, and Life After Death” which we studied with our church “Buna Vestire” at our recent seminar.
The next step is to make an announcement about your intention to lead a Bible study group through Skype. You can do it on the phone inviting your relatives and friends and also through social media, through a public announcement and/or in person. The announcement should include the name of the course, its short description, and schedule. I think you can set the schedule based on common agreement with everyone who will answer your invitation. Our group agreed to meet every evening between 8:30pm-9:30pm, and in summer time – half an hour later. Perhaps you have the question what is the best number of people to effectively communicate with through Skype. I recommend a maximum of 5-6 people including you to be sure that every group member is involved in discussion. Having said that, though, don’t limit God in the number of people He wants to entrust to you. You can easily lead two or more parallel group studies.
How to create a group on Skype?
First of all, the people who accepted your invitation to study together should become your friends on Skype. Then create the group itself and give it a name that you can easily find in your contact list. For technical details, visit the official Skype page, Help section.
Tips on leading the group
1. Spend first 10-15 minutes for free conversations when each person from the group can share personal joys and needs, tell how they were able to share the Gospel, etc. Then pray together for these needs.
2. Do not study the Bible mechanically. As a leader, make sure that people observe the Bible text well and that they understand how to apply it in their lives.
3. Do not turn the study into a monologue. A good leader will allow group members to voice their opinions about what they learn during the lesson. At the same time, do not allow anyone to manipulate or dominate the discussion.
4. Always tell people who do not know Christ yet about the need to repent and be baptized, and about the importance of participation in a local church.
5. Encourage the Christians in your group to spread the Gospel and make disciples. It is the calling Lord Jesus made for each of us. Advise them to open Bible study groups, in their turn, where they will teach the courses that you studied together.
I invite readers who lead or study Bible through Skype to share personal impressions and experience.
Translated by: Svetlana Sinyaya
This article is also translated into following languages:
2. Как начать и вести группу по изучению Библии через Skype? (RUSSIAN)