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Nov 28, 2017

Building a Bible Study and Faith Formation Core Team

The Great Adventure

“Two are better than one … three-fold cord is not quickly broken”—Ephesians 3:9,12

As the old saying goes, “many hands make light work.” If you are thinking about leading a Bible study, we strongly recommend creating a core team of people who share your vision. Selecting the right people for your team is an important first step in running a fruitful study.

In the first stages of running a Bible study, some tasks can be combined, and depending on the size of your study, you may only need two or three people to start. One person can fill two or more roles on your core team.

One of the tremendous benefits of running an Ascension program is that your parish will be well-prepared to manage future events, Bible studies and programs of all kinds.

Roles of a Bible Study Core Team

Remember that one person can fill more than one role on the team!

Bible Study Leader: Coordinates the facilitators and other team members

  • Has the big picture of the study
  • Works most closely with Ascension for support
  • Leads the core team

The leader registers the Bible study online in order to receive exclusive access to free leader and promotional materials, trains and leads his/her core team, and oversees the general running of their Bible study.

Small Group Facilitators: Good listeners who love the Lord and love people 
Small group facilitators facilitate small group discussion, encourage participants, and keep discussions on time and on track. (See below for more considerations in choosing facilitators.)

Prayer Leader: Prayerful and Dedicated
The prayer leader makes Bible study a prayer intention and leads prayer with the core team and facilitators.

Marketing/promotional Coordinator: Creative and Energetic
This person gets the word out and ignites excitement in the home and surrounding parishes. Once the Bible study leader has registered online, he/she will receive a “How to Market Your Bible Study” document, posters, flyers and announcements. These should be given to the marketing/promotional coordinator.

Hospitality Coordinator: Welcoming and Gracious
This core team member greets participants and makes them feel welcome by creating a comfortable space, introducing people to each other, and starting conversation.

Registration and Communications Coordinator: Strong Organization Skills
He or she creates and sends information to participants.

Logistics Coordinator: Good with technology, reliable, independent
This person makes sure the room is setup for the group and can run audio/visual equipment.

Who Should Be On the Team?

First, pray and let the Holy Spirit move you to ask the right people. The right people are those who are:

  • Prayerful, practicing Catholics
  • Faithful to God’s revealed truth
  • Interested in helping others to deepen their faith

Remember that one person can fill more than one role on the team.

4 Places to Find Core Team Candidates

  1. Ask the pastor. If you help him understand who you are looking for, chances are he will be able to think of someone. “Father, do you know someone who is warm and friendly?” etc.
  2. Ask the director of religious education or adult faith formation at the parish if they know of anyone with the qualities listed in above.
  3. If your parish has hosted a live seminar or run a Bible study before, there are probably a lot of excited people who would like to help. You should ask them to help you!
  4. People who attend eucharistic adoration, who recently went on a retreat or attended RCIA, may be looking for a way to serve the Lord.

Considerations in Choosing Facilitators

The people chosen as facilitators play a key role in the success of a study. Qualities to look for when selecting your facilitators:

Necessary Qualities:

  • A prayerful, practicing Catholic
  • Faithful to God’s revealed truth
  • Loves the Lord and his Church
  • Loves people and shows that love
  • Excited about Bible study

Desirable Qualities:

  • Engaging personality
  • Energetic
  • Confident
  • Diplomatic
  • Humble

Expectations of a Facilitator

The facilitator:

  • Completes lesson carefully each week
  • Prays regularly for the group
  • Attends facilitator orientation, if offered
  • Brings workbook, Bible and catechism to class
  • Welcomes all members
  • Explains and maintains rules of the group
  • Starts and ends on time
  • Hosts and guides the discussion
  • Maintains equitable flow of conversation
  • Records difficult questions
  • Dresses appropriately (modest church attire is a good guide)
  • Refers any challenges to the Bible study leader

What the Facilitator is NOT expected to be:

  • The role of the facilitator is not that of a counselor, theologian, or catechist.
  • The facilitator does not have the responsibility to teach or answer difficult questions.

Now that you have the guidelines for creating a core team, consider leading one of Ascension’s studies, which you can preview here

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