The right tool is important, whether you’re a builder, homeowner or Bible study leader.
Braddy said his suggestions probably sounded like a commercial for Lifeway products, but he didn’t intend for it to be.
“I’ve been at Lifeway for 13 years,” he said. “But I used Lifeway Bible teaching products before in my church ministries. I believe in what we do. We’re trying to help you be better.”
One resource Braddy said many churches using Lifeway materials might not know about is the “Adult Group Box.” It’s a “toolbox”-style resource available in the three major curricula Lifeway offers: Explore the Bible, Bible Studies for Life and The Gospel Project. The box is designed to provide the “right tools for Sunday morning or whenever your group meets,” he said.
Each box comes with four resources:
- 10 personal study guides. “Our study guides are vetted theologically,” he explained. “They are crafted by a team of experts, and we have appraisal readers who ensure that we follow the Baptist Faith and Message guidelines [adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000]. The Apostle Paul said, ‘Guard your doctrine carefully,’ and we try to do so.”
- a leader guide, with deeper commentary, teaching ideas and suggestions for leading a group well
- an additional commentary: the “Herschel Hobbs Commentary” (KJV boxes), “Advanced Bible Study” (CSB boxes) or “Quick Source” (ETB boxes)
- a leader pack, which includes documents like maps, charts, posters and reconstructions. The pack also has the teaching plan in a downloadable Word document that the teacher can customize for class teaching notes or use in making PowerPoint slides. Further, the pack has Scripture cards that can be duplicated and distributed as “homework,” “a reminder to hide God’s word in our hearts,” Braddy said.
Braddy said churches who order the adult group box realize a significant savings over purchasing the included items “à la carte.”
“Do the math and you’ll find that this boils down to something like 8 cents per day per member,” he said. “We think it’s a great investment in meaningful study.”
Braddy noted additional personal study guides or leader guides can be added to the group box, along with other helpful resources.
For example, the study guides in each series also are available in a second version, known as the Daily Discipleship Guide.
“This version allows group members to read during the week and do more application than just on Sunday,” he said.
Returning to groups
Braddy said Lifeway continues to hear that church members are returning to study and worship after the COVID-19 pandemic, and some churches are reporting they’re back to the numbers they had pre-COVID.
“I agree that going forward, community will outweigh content,” Braddy said. “People are looking to connect with others for encouragement as we serve together.
“But content is critical too,” he said. “There are two people who deliver content to God’s people every week — the pastor and you, the Bible study leader. What you do is instrumental in the work of the church. You are mission-critical.”
Braddy has hosted several webinars this year in his series “Training Thru 22.”
The ninth webinar, “7 Ways To Shrink Your Bible Study Group,” will be on Sept. 15.
“Of course, I’m being a little tongue-in-cheek,” Braddy said with a laugh. “But there are recognizable things we shouldn’t do because of the adverse consequences.”
Braddy said his team is considering webinar themes for 2023 and want to hear from Southern Baptists.
“We can answer questions about Lifeway, but we’d rather focus on groups and how we can help you,” he said.
Braddy’s email is email@example.com.
The webinar homepage is lifeway.com/training22.