You are amazing for choosing to do a group. We believe you will get about a million times more out of your resource by bringing others into the process. They will encourage you, help you stick with it, challenge you, fight for you, and make life so much more fun!
HERE ARE FOUR EASY STEPS TO START A GROUP:
1. Choose a resource.
2. Pick your best method—online or in person.
3. Sign up for a group or sign your group up if you want to host one.
4. Give yourself grace… but not too much.
STEP ONE: CHOOSE A RESOURCE
SACRED HOLIDAYS: LESS CHAOS, MORE JESUS
This is a great book to do with groups! Plus, this book is a super easy read because of how it is laid out. Sacred Holidays is really more of a resource than a book. The chapters are all broken up into sections, and there is even journaling space! You can can do a group one of two ways:
Book Club Style: If you already have a book club, then make this your next month’s choice. Or if you don’t have a book club, you can do a Book Club just for this book. Pick how many weeks you want to meet and then break up the chapters. I’d recommend doing one week on the two intro chapters, a couple of weeks for the holiday chapters, and then a couple of weeks to discuss common struggles. You will LOVE learning from everyone and also processing what you are learning.
Support Group Style: Meet once to all connect, meet again to go over the two intro chapters, then meet 30-60 days before each holiday. Y’all can go over the chapter, share other ideas, discuss the Common Struggles chapters that are relevant for that holiday, and I’d recommend eating things that are themed for that holiday!
Find what works or you—there isn’t one way to do this… but it is a good idea to do something. You will get so much more out of this book, and you will have a total blast doing it. This is a great thing to walk through with your neighbors, co-workers, family, old college buddies, etc. We all prepare for our holidays, we all want them to be more meaningful—so let’s do it together! Let’s choose a better way together and share what we are learning with one another!
ADVENT STUDY: FOR ALL OR HE IS
We have two advent studies for you to choose from:
He Is: a study on the attributes of God—all about celebrating the One Christmas is all about! Each day is a different attribute.
For All: a study that looks at the whole narrative of Christmas—starting in the garden, working you through the prophecies, and then each character or setting of the New Testament story.
Both studies have 20 days of content studies, plus 5 days of Advent candle Bible studies and prompts. So, our recommendation is that groups meet during the season of Advent (beginning 4 Sundays before Christmas) or Dec 1. We’d recommend meeting before the study starts, and then meeting through Christmas once a week. However, some groups meet at the beginning of the study and then do a recap/celebration at the end. We have heard the best feedback, though, from groups who choose to meet weekly through the holidays. It seems crazy because you think things are too busy, but it is worth it!
90-DAY BIBLE READING PLAN: ENTIRE BIBLE, NEW TESTAMENT, EPISTLES (LETTERS), PSALMS
One of the most powerful things you can do with other women is to study God’s Word together. We love Bible studies around here, but we also love balancing those with reading straight scripture. However, most women struggle to stick with Bible studies or Bible study plans—so we find that it is always best to do that with a group. Number one, will help you stick with the reading plan. However, it will also help you to get so much more out of what you are reading. As you journey through scripture with others, you will have a safe place to ask questions, encourage others, be encouraged by others, challenge one another, give greater insight, and so much more!
Find a plan that best resonates with your group:
Read the Bible in 90 Days
Read the New Testament in 90 Days
Read the Epistles (the Letters) in 90 Days
Read Psalms in 90 Days
We recommend these groups meet in person or check in weekly online.
STEP TWO: pick your best METHOD—ONLINE OR IN PERSON
There isn’t a wrong option here, it truly is whatever works best for you and those who will be in your group. The best method to choose is the one that works for you. How’s that for a non-answer? Ha! The truth is that you want to choose whichever one you will enjoy leading and enjoy being a part of. My personality loves in person, so I know that is what I will always prefer. However, there have been many season that I just couldn’t add something else to my calendar, and I was so grateful to have the support of an online community.
In person: One of the benefits of in person groups is that it allows you to connect in a meaningful way with those around you. We’ve had churches host large groups as a part of their Bible study curriculum, and we’ve had just a few friends gather at a coffee shop. There isn’t one right way to do this. Gather with your neighbors, friends from church, and/or co-workers! We know life is busy—everyone says this and feels this—but you will not regret making space for this!
Online: This is a great option for those who have schedules that simply won’t allow for in person groups. Just because you can’t gather in person, doesn’t mean you should miss out on the benefits of a group! A great perk of having an online group is the flexibility of it, and the women that can be included in your group. The group host will set out the expectations for the group, but the key factor is that you show up and engage as often as you can. Another awesome perk of online groups is that you can choose a specific focus of
STEP THREE: SIGN up for a group or sign YOUR GROUP UP if you want to host one
Once you’ve determined what you want to do and how you want to do it, the next step is to pick a group or start a group!
If you want to join a group, go to our Join a Group page and find a group in your area or online and contact the host to get more details. (If you don’t see a group in your area, then consider hosting a group. We promise it is so much fun!)
If you want to host a group, go to our Host a Group page and sign your group up. This will also give you access you our private Facebook page for group leaders for support, tips, and direct access to Kelly, our Group Coordinator, and Becky.
If you have any questions at all, contact us.
STEP FOUR: GIVE YOURSELF GRACE… but not too much
We say this all the time with our studies and in the book, but feel like it’s worth stating here as well: give yourself grace… but not too much.
When it comes to groups—being in one and/or leading one—it requires a good dose of grace. Grace that there will be some weeks you will not have done your reading/study and you will feel behind. We don’t quit when this happens, we stay faithful and work hard. We’ve done harder things than read a book or do a study, and we’ve done harder things than show up for our group. So we keep pushing. We give ourselves grace because we will never do this thing perfect. But perfection isn't our goal, Jesus is. Our hope is that we look more like Him and follow Him freer because of our time in His Word and with others.
We say we don’t give ourselves too much grace because this whole “give yourself grace” mentality that is becoming super popular is becoming an excuse towards laziness. And while we know we will have weeks we just don’t get our reading done or aren’t able to show up to group, we don’t allow that to become our pattern. We know we are meant to be women who study God’s Word. We choose to make sacrifices to do that because we are followers of Jesus—so we want to follow Him by learning about Him in His Word. We know we are busy, but we shouldn’t ever be too busy for others, so we show up as consistently as we can. Discipline and diligence isn’t easy, and it’s rarely anyone’s typical bent, but we work hard towards that anyway because He is worth it… and so are we.