My wife and I have been in many, many study groups in different locations over the last 45 years, and this structure is by far the best.
First third of the meeting:
- Read aloud a passage from the Bible. Eugene Peterson's The Message has chapters broken into nice segments for this purpose.
- Go around the circle, asking if anybody has any questions about the passage. Trust the Holy Spirit to provide an answer from the group members.
- Go around the circle again, asking if the passage struck a meaningful chord and if a new insight arose.
- Repeat as often as time allows.
Second third of the meeting:
- Go around the circle, allowing people to share thoughts from the previous week. Prayer requests are welcome. Those who prefer to say nothing can simply pass.
Last third of the meeting:
- Go around the circle again, this time praying aloud and remembering to pray for those who asked for prayer. Those who prefer not to pray aloud can say "amen" when it's their turn.
A couple of rules:
- Food and drink should be simple and affordable for all.