Bible Reading Groups were developed out of the belief that every woman following Jesus needs a community that will help her grow in her relationship with Him and equip her to carry out her kingdom responsibilities. Bible Reading Groups (BRGs) can help believers cultivate intimacy in their relationship with Christ and equip them with a tool to live more intentionally to make Him known!
We believe that in order to have an intimate relationship with God, his children need to know how to hear His voice and respond to it. We believe the primary way God speaks to His children is through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We believe God speaks to us in other ways as well, but that the Word of God is the filter through which everything in life is interpreted. We also know that developing a habit of reading His word and praying are spiritual practices that can become a delight when given the proper community that makes cultivating these habits a priority.
This is our personal story and the story of so many Christians we meet; that although we attend church and hear about the importance of reading the Bible, it actually took someone showing us how and doing it with us for a season to establish a habit in our lives. Once that habit is established, the Word of God is living and active and able to transform the believer to think, look and live more like Jesus.
Every week in a BRG, the members will come together and begin by looking back over their week’s reading or “quiet time.” They will share about their time in the Word throughout the week and how the Lord has been speaking to them. Each person will also share something she is thankful for and any challenging circumstances she may be facing. Each of these questions help the women in the group know how they can be praising and petitioning God for each other. Depending on the challenges that the group members are facing, a service opportunity may emerge were they can come together and be a visible expression of God’s love and care for one another (John 15:13).
After looking back, the group then begins to look up as they focus on the Word. One person in the group will read the selected passage, another person will reread it, and a third person will retell the passage of scripture without looking at it (the group can help fill in any missing details)! We have found this process prompts all the women to participation and models a form of meditation by slowing down and helping each person pick up on the details that may be overlooked if read to quickly.
After the passage is read, members in the group take time to respond to the following three questions in their journal: 1. What does it say about God? 2. What does it say about man? 3.What does it say about obedience? / How am I to apply what I’ve read to my life? This portion helps the group move from just reading the Word, to now reflecting on it. So many men and women prior to being in a BRG would tell us that they felt intimidated to read the Bible on their own without the help of a fill in the blank study. These three simple questions give people a format to use everyday for their time in the word and structure to know what to journal and reflect on.
After being in a BRG for several weeks, one woman recently told me, when trying to describe what God is like to her non-believing in-laws, she felt unsure how to have the conversation. Now, after weeks of reading the Bible daily for herself and journaling each day about what the passage tells her about God, she is able to speak to others more confidently and with conviction about who she is discovering God to be!
After looking up, the group transitions to the last portion of their time together by looking out. During this time each group member develops an “I will” statement based on what she feels the Lord impressing upon her to do in light of what she has just read in the Word. Developing and sharing an “I will statement,” protects each person from becoming just a hearer of the Word and not a doer (James 1:22). As each person develops her “I will …” statement, the group helps her to make her application S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound). The group leader will record each member’s statement and ask her about it the following week.
We have found these groups to be catalytic in creating a discipling culture for many different reasons. First, women are learning how to feed themselves spiritually instead listening passively to someone else teach her the Word. We all need good teachers who are accurately handling the Word of truth, but so often men and women will rely on this one experience each week to sustain their spiritual growth, when one of the gifts of the gospel is that every believer can hear and respond to their Father’s voice every day! In a BRG they are shown how to cultivate this personal relationship with God by spending time in the word and prayer and given simple guidelines to help foster a meaningful encounter Him.
Secondly, A Bible Reading Group provides weekly accountability so that as women hear the voice of God, they have a community that will support them in responding to it. So many of us have good intentions when it comes to wanting to grow spiritually, but we need the community that will hold us accountable and challenge us to live up to what we say we will do.
Third, these groups are designed to multiply. By providing each member of the group with a clear pattern to imitate, each woman is being equipped with a model that she is able to replicate. As the Lord places hungry women into her life, she will feel competent to begin reading the Bible with them, thus taking a crucial step in beginning to disciple other women.
There are many ways to disciple people but no matter what the method, at the heart of every discipleship strategy there needs to be an emphasis on helping people hear and obey the voice of God (John 8:31-32). Once they are following Jesus they need to be shown how obey his command to make disciples. We have found the Bible Reading Groups to be a place where a person has an opportunity to embrace both of these responsibilities. 
Author: Carey Purdom
 Bible Reading Group began at Kairos on the campus of Brentwood Baptist. Since 2014, Discipleship pastor for Kairos, Matt Purdom has overseen the creation of the model of BRGs and since that time, Kairos has grown to over 30 Bible Reading Groups with well over a 100 discipled young men and women through BRGs and one-to-one mentoring from BRGs.