How to Host Online Bible Studies

From lighting and angles to teaching tips,
here are some practical ideas for how to navigate.

The Good, the Bad and What to Avoid

Online isn’t so bad. While we miss in-person fellowship, there are upsides to doing it online. With our online studies, my husband and I have been able to meet despite adverse weather or illness and even over the Christmas season when studies are usually on hiatus. (What else was there to do!?) When we started meeting in the fall, we were the only group from our church meeting online. Now we’re the only group meeting period due to COVID restrictions.

Technical concerns: While a nuisance, technical issues need not deter you. Generally, people are understanding with these things. Often, it’s best to forge ahead even if things aren’t ideal. If not, restart the device and hope for the best.

Reading the room: It can be hard to gauge your online audience. Often faces are obscured or far away; perhaps all you can see is a ceiling fan. It’s hard to tell if people are getting jokes, let alone if they’re under conviction or confused. This makes leading a study challenging and tiring! But there are things you can do to counter these obstacles.

  • DO: Give yourself lots of time (30 min) the first night to get everyone set up. In subsequent studies, ensure you’re on 10-15 minutes early to address technical issues and welcome people as they join.
  • DON’T: Don’t assume everyone knows how to use your chosen app. Some people will need coaching to get set up the first time.
  • DO: Send out reminders for your study. Many people have little routine these days, needing regular reminders.
  • DO: Get links and other information to your group at least 6-24 hours before your study, giving lots of time for potential issues to surface.
  • DO: As the leader, ensure you have a good set-up. Make sure your face is lit up nicely and the angle of your camera is pleasing. (No one wants to be looking up your nose for the duration of the study!)
  • DO: Conduct the study as if you were all in the same room. If you’ve never done a study using GoodSeed tools, watch this short video.
  • DO: Use the videos interwoven with the text. These can easily be shared via the screen share option. Videos are a huge help, helping to engage your audience. It’s also helpful to use the companion workbooks for review. Watch this for tips.
  • DON’T: Don’t forget to have your group highlight key points. Ask them to help you by reading the verses in the text. This also helps them to stay focused on the material.
  • DO: If someone misses a meeting, make sure they know what you covered so they can read the material themselves and get caught up.
  • DON’T: When your meeting is over, don’t rush to leave the app. Some people may hang around at the end to ask questions or talk privately. These can be sweet times of fellowship that you won’t want to miss.

Ideal for Online Studies:

Bible Overview Study

No Ordinary Story explains the Bible from creation to the cross. Each booklet can be read in less than 50 minutes, a perfect Bible study length. Included are links to short video clips, which add interest to the material. If you wish to go more in-depth, choose from The Stranger (Christianized worldview), By This Name (Eastern worldview) or All the Prophets (Islamic worldview).

The Next Step for Believers

For those who have been taught through one of the books listed above, The Captive and the King’s Will is the follow-up book to help the believer understand sanctification. Looking at the life of the Apostle Peter, this book covers how the Holy Spirit and God’s Word guide us, baptism, finding a church, our position in Christ, the security of the believer, persecution and trials and many other essential topics for believers.

Training for Believers

Learn how to:

  • Share with the biblically illiterate, confused or hardened
  • Overcome fear and lack of understanding
  • Make the most of spur-of-the-moment and long-term opportunities
  • Engage and share without being preachy
  • Help people understand the life-changing central message of the Bible
  • Make being an ambassador for Christ part of a lifelong lifestyle

TERM for small groups is comprised of 50-minute sessions that build confidence in the gospel to change lives, including your own.

Hands On

Whether as an in-home study with your family or an online study with a group, the Tabernacle is a fascinating study for young and old alike. Learn the significance of the structure and its furniture as you assemble the scale model.

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