Challenges in starting a new Bible study

This is about how I feel today. Like I’m going thru something I’m not sure what it is. But I feel like God is distance from me. I wanted to start a Bible study group last night but I didn’t realize the time was wrong due to smoke breaks and med time. So no one came but I’m thinking of doing it on a Saturday and see what happens. But I know there are others who want to participate in it so I feel like it’s a good thing. But I’m wondering if I’m doing it for the people and leaving God out of it. That’s what it feels like. Any advice would be much appreciated!


Hey @lori,

I’m sorry to hear your Bible study didn’t get much traction. Starting something new can be so discouraging when people don’t show up. Please don’t give up hope though!

Based on my experience, here are some ideas that may help:

  1. Make a list of people you think might be interested and pray for them specifically. Ask God to open their hearts.
  2. Reach out to them personally, either face-to-face or with a phone call. A personal invitation can go a long way versus a generic email blast.
  3. When you talk to them, explain why you think they would enjoy the study and how you believe it could encourage them. Draw out their interests and connect the study to that.
  4. For those who decline, be gracious. Tell them you understand and they are welcome any time. Then move the conversation to something they’re passionate about.
  5. For those who are unsure, gently probe their concerns and listen attentively. See if you can ease their worries, but don’t pressure. Offer to follow-up later with more info that addresses their issues.
  6. For those who say yes, get contact info and availability. Aim for consensus on the best time/place to accommodate as many as possible. Also ask if they have any friends who might want to join.

Starting something new is hard, but with prayer, persistence and sensitivity to others’ needs, it can happen! Let us know if you have any other questions. We’re happy to help!


Thank you so much for the advice. Will take those to be very helpful. Will let you know what happens. God bless!


Hi @lori,

I saw your post today, and am praying for encouragement, hope, and peace. I planted a few new Bible studies in college and know how discouraging it can be in those first few months or so when few people or no one shows up. How has it been going since your post? Is there anything that has worked well for you? Or have any questions come up?


I quit having the Bible study because of Christmas activities and things going on this month. I know I’ll get back to it next month but it’s still about the same last month I only had two people show interest in Bible study. I don’t feel like God is leading me into this anymore instead I write out devotional and put them out on the board for whoever wants to read it. That all I’m doing right now. God bless you!! Lori


Hi @lori ,

That sounds discouraging. We’re here to encourage!

A few questions to awaken you to what God is doing in you and your community:

  1. At the most honest level of my heart, why do I want to start a Bible study? What are all my motives?

  2. How can I build more friendships in my community?

  3. How can I serve my community?

  4. What do I like about my community? What is going well?

I believe there is a divine purpose to your life!


I definitely understand how busy the Christmas time can be. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Did those two come to a Bible study time? I have found that 1 or 2 people who are excited about a Bible study can be an amazing start! As they see the impact it has on them, and they grow in their faith, they often share about the study with others, making it so that not all of the gathering of people rests on one person. Even if no traction beyond the two gets going though, it can still be a powerful time of building friendship with one another and growing together in the Lord!

It’s encouraging to hear about the devotionals you are writing. I’m praying for wisdom and the words to say as you write and for hearts that will be open to Christ.

Discerning what God is leading you toward is always tough! I’m praying that God will fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col 1:9). I think @carson has shared some great steps in the discernment process and if there are other Christian leaders who know the community you are serving, I’d encourage you to reach out to them too and to hear their insight in how they see God at work in the community and where may be the greatest areas of need.


I’m just reading this post (1/10/2024), I know I’m late to the topic, but please know I’m praying for you and that you’re able to determine His will in your actions/ activities.

I attended a couple of studies when I started my new church about 6 years ago; after the 3rd study, the leader of it suggested we co- lead a study. Have you tried that? After we did the first one, we agreed to do another joint study, where I led 90% of it, only asking for help once because I couldn’t be there; then I did a 3rd which I led solo. I’ve also written a study (unpublished) on HOPE throughout the Bible that I’ve led twice, and I’m now writing a study on the book of Revelation. I must say, I’m enjoying the writing much more than I thought I ever would, but I do enjoy the teaching very much.

I’ve found that the smaller the group attending, the more each person has the opportunity to participate - which is both a blessing AND a curse, lol. It’s a blessing when everyone attending wants to stay on topic, but if even one person wants to chit-chat, it throws everything off! And it seems like there’s always at least 1 person who wants to just socialize rather than STUDY, so I’m constantly having to redirect. Still, I wouldn’t trade the time spent or the friendships I’ve made for anything.

I hope you won’t give up on the idea of hosting a study if that’s what God has placed in your heart. It can be one of the BEST ways to build on your own knowledge. Again, I’ll be praying for you.

Blessings and peace; sincerely,


Those are some EXCELLENT pointers! I’ll be using them before I start up my next study. Thank you for sharing.

If I may add another tip? I’ve found it helpful to ask my pastor to review at least the first meeting’s study info. (but more than that when possible). There are 2 main reasons for this:

  1. if I’m misunderstanding something, it’s better for everyone that I find this out before I begin leading people down the wrong path and

  2. if my pastor likes the information I’m presenting, he’ll either put it into the church bulletin or announce it during the end of service announcements on Sunday (or both).

Thanks again! With love,
Your sister-in-Christ,