Are you looking for ways to start or grow an online bible study group? If yes, then you've come to the right place.
Evangelism is not a Pastor's job alone, and every Christian has the responsibility to spread the good news about Christ's second coming.
Many people would love to start an online bible study but don't have the means and technical skills to get started.
Starting an online bible study group is easier today than at any time in history, and we have no reason not to create one.
In this post, I will show you how to start an online Bible study group with zero dollars using Clubhouse – a voice-only social media platform.
I will also show you how to grow your bible study group into a thriving community of believers for free and no technical skills required.
How to start an online bible study group for free on Clubhouse
- Download and install the clubhouse app on your mobile device,
- Sign up and create your profile,
- Search and join other clubs and rooms,
- Create your bible study room and club,
- Invite friends and family to your bible study group,
- Ask them what topics they want to discuss,
- Create a Mailchimp or Mailerlite account,
- Create a welcome email sequence,
- Build your landing page and connect it to the welcome email sequence,
- Invite people to join your email list.
Let's start by defining what an online bible study is and why you may want to consider starting one.
What is an online Bible study group?
An online Bible study group is a virtual community of people who meet regularly to discuss topics related to the Bible. The members can be from different parts of the world and have different religious backgrounds.
Why do we need online Bible study groups?
There are many reasons why we need online Bible study Groups.
- The first reason is that we live in a global community where everyone has access to information. We no longer have to travel thousands of miles to learn about new things, and all we need is our smartphones or laptops and the internet.
- Second, there is so much information available on the internet that it's hard to keep up with all of them. With the help of online Bible study groups, we can stay informed about current events and learn more about God's Word.
- Third, we don't always have time to read books or listen to sermons. But when we join a Bible study group, we can connect with other believers and ask questions about what we're learning.
- Fourth, we want to know more about God's word. As Christians, we should love the Bible. And if we are going to understand the Bible better, we need to talk to others who have already studied the Bible.
- Another reason is that individuals like you and me now have an opportunity to spread the Gospel without relying on the church or the Pastors. As Christians, we are all commissioned to go out, teach and share the good news that Jesus is coming again.
The internet gives us the power to reach more people than we would in the physical space, and the best part is that we can do this with little to no money. The only requirement is passion, a little imagination, and some tech skills.
Now that we have defined an online bible study let's build the group.
How to Build your online Bible Study Group on Clubhouse
Starting an online Bible Study Group isn't as simple as creating an offline study group. There are many things to consider, from finding the right platform to set up a schedule to choosing study topics.
Even though the internet makes it easier to start a Bible Study group, choosing the perfect medium makes things a little more complicated. Many people give up at the building stage because they can't find the right tools or lack the technical skills to build it.
But don't worry! You will be able to start an online bible study in no time using Clubhouse.
It is so easy even a caveman can do it 😀🤣
What is Clubhouse?
The clubhouse app is a voice-only social network that connects people based on shared interests. It is designed to be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime. You can use it to make new friends, keep up with old ones, and find exciting things to do.
What makes Clubhouse the perfect platform for online bible study groups?
We asked people, "what is your greatest challenge with digital evangelism?" and the results indicate that many people have challenges with learning new technologies.
Another common challenge is financing, especially for people outside the US. This is so because most software charge a monthly subscription they can't afford, or the software doesn't accept their local currencies.
After considering all that, we needed to find a platform that removes all those challenges. The forum was to be easy to use and free for everyone.
Here are some great reasons why Clubhouse is the one.
- The clubhouse app is easy to use, and you'll never feel lost in a sea of text messages, emails, and phone calls. Instead, you'll enjoy a clean interface that allows you to focus on connecting with people instead of trying to figure out how to navigate through menus.
- The Clubhouse is free to use and is available on iOS and Android smartphones.
- The clubhouse app was launched in 2020 and had over 10 million users worldwide.
- Voice only platform – unlike most social networks, Clubhouse doesn't require you to type anything. Instead, you can speak to other members to connect with them. With Clubhouse, you can easily communicate with people in different languages too.
- You can create private groups to invite specific friends or groups of friends.
Furthermore, Clubhouse has some great features that make it stand out from the rest.
The main issue with social media platforms like Facebook is that your content is only visible to people within your circle. The Universal Search functionality on Clubhouse helps improve discovery for our members by ensuring that whenever someone types a word or phrase into the search box, they can find your group.
Replay – launching soon.
The replay feature will be a game-changer when launched later this year. It will allow you to record your Bible study sessions and download the files to your devices.
Am sure the next question is, "and then what?"
Well, I am glad you asked. You see, one of the reasons why digital evangelism is the future of gospel outreach is because it allows people to consume the Gospel at any time, anywhere.
With the ability to record your Bible study sessions, you will be able to send these files to people who missed and better yet, you can repurpose these recordings into Podcasts.
Building your online bible study group on Clubhouse.
Getting started on the Clubhouse is easy; all you have to do is head over to the App Store for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.
But before you do that, you must pick a bible study niche and target group. This is very important if you want people to discover you on Clubhouse.
When you search for "bible study," you will get a lot of groups, and people will only join the ones that speak to what they need. That's why you should make sure to describe your group a little further.
Here are some examples of the results from the bible study search.
For the sake of this article, I will not go over how to use Clubhouse, but I will have some helpful resources at the end of this article to help you with that.
However, here is what to expect:
- Head over to the app store or Google play to download the Clubhouse app
- Download and install the app on your mobile device
- Signup and create your profile
- Add your contact information and the landing page link to your profile
- Search and join other clubs
- Attend some rooms and events to get a feel of the platform
- When comfortable, create your space, and eventually, the club
- Start by inviting your friends and family remembers to your room or club
- Pick a suitable schedule of when you'll go live – be consistent
How to grow your virtual bible study group on Clubhouse
Even though Clubhouse is the perfect platform for your virtual bible study group, it comes with a big problem. All communications occur within the app, and if you want to connect with your members outside of the app, you will have to use other tools.
Another problem is that you do not own your audience, and if Clubhouse were to shut down, you would lose your audience and all your hard work.
Growing your bible study group on Clubhouse alone is like building your house on rented land. What happens when the owner wants their land back?
Not long after you create your Clubhouse account and room, you will begin to see your membership numbers increase reasonably quickly, and you have to be ready for growth.
Hence, you must do this next step very early on when your group is still small to help you perfect your member acquisition process.
Build your email and contact list.
I cannot emphasize the importance of building your email list, and this will allow you to connect with your members outside of and beyond Clubhouse.
There are several free email automation tools to choose from, but in this case, we recommend Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Both of these tools have a generous free plan that will allow you to collect and build your email list.
What to do after you have created your Mailchimp or Mailerlite accounts
For the sake of this article being too long, I will not be sharing how to make these accounts. Please check at the bottom of this article for resources to help you with that.
Once you have the accounts set up, here are the steps you should consider.
1. Create a welcome email sequence.
The sequence of personalized emails will automatically be emailed whenever someone signs up to your email list.
You should send the first email immediately after the signup, and it's simply a welcome to the community type of email.
Even though there's no recommendation of how many emails you should have in the welcome sequence, we highly recommend at least four.
The second email should tell the user or member about your community. Make sure to include your goals and objectives. Also, let them know how to participate in the community to get the most out of it.
The third email should invite them for feedback. Every community should exist to meet its members’ needs by addressing their struggles and pain points.
And one great way to discover your members’ pain points is by asking them.
The fourth email should include any resources, including external ones that will help your members. This could also include other discussion groups, blogs, books, etc.
Now that the email sequence is ready, its time to build your entry points ( landing page)
1. Create a simple landing page
A landing page is a webpage that has only one purpose: To get someone to sign up for something. Both Mailchimp and Mailerlite have landing page features that allow you to create one in no time.
Once the landing page is up and running, you will have to connect it to your welcome email sequence so that the automation can run every time you have signup.
Your online bible study growth strategy
Remember that you are creating a community, and the first requirement of any community is belonging. You want to make sure your members feel welcome and part of your community.
So don't forget to offer your members the best experience possible by making sure they can find answers to their questions quickly, easily, and without hassle.
Also, remember that people join communities because they want to learn from others. So if you are offering an online Bible Study Group, make sure you provide quality content.
And talking about quality content, you have to make sure to give your audience the content they want and not what you feel they should consume.
In other words, you should let the community leaders and not the other way around.
How to run a successful online Bible study group
- Create a monthly or quarterly bible study schedule
- Ask your members to suggest topics for the period
- Invite members to signup to the email list
- Encourage members to invite others
- Remember, you are only the facilitator, not the ultimate expert. Feel free to invite others to lead the discussions.
- Record the bible study sessions and create a podcast
This next step is not a requirement but will help skyrocket your growth.
Voice bible study is excellent, and people love that they don't have to show their faces. However, you'll still have some shy people who may not feel comfortable contributing during the session.
Another element to consider is that the sessions are still time-based, and many people may not be available to attend all the time; that's why you need another type of platform that ensures continued discussions.
This platform will also allow people to ask questions and continue to learn from each other.
For this, we recommend a community platform. You may go with a free Facebook group, WhatsApp, or your very own private community. We have an extensive article about community platforms here.
The Bible in Hebrews 6:10 says that God will not forget those who seek him diligently.
He wants us to seek Him diligently. This means that we must do something every day to draw closer to God. We cannot just sit back and wait for the Pastors to evangelize, and every Christian is obligated to go out and spread the good news of Christ's second coming.
I believe that God wants to use every method possible, including digital tools, to help people grow spiritually. We want to help people and ourselves become better Christians by connecting and sharing God's love with other believers.
I hope this article has inspired you to take action and start your own online Bible Study Group. If you keep the tips listed above in mind, creating your own Bible Study Group will be much easier than you thought.
Used with permission from Nelson Musonda.