Explore the Mystery of the Sacraments with your Friends and Family
The streaming video format and leader guide make it easy to lead a group of any size. All you need to do is ask your friends to join you!
Start with Prayer
Above all, pray. We can't accomplish anything without God's grace, so ask for it and ask for God's grace to open the hearts of all who attend your study.
Seek Permission and Support
Especially if you are planning a parish study, you'll want your pastor's sign-off. (And if you're doing it in your home, you might want to clear it with your spouse!) Reassure him that you don't need him to commit to anything, just to give his blessing. This study won't be a burden on him (or anyone).
Choose a Time
First, know your audience: if everyone works full time, you may want to do it in the evening or on a weekend. If you expect a lot of young moms, you may need to schedule around nap time.
With a small group, it's tempting to see what works for others. We recommend you start with a plan and adjust as necessary, otherwise you can get stuck never picking a time. Be sure to give yourself time to arrive early. Even with minimal preparation, being the first there will boost your calm and improve your presentation.
Choose a Location
You want a location that is easy for everyone to get to and has the proper technology needed for presenting the study. We also recommend somewhere with tables or desks for note-taking. Strike a balance between having space for everyone and making sure people are comfortable. If you have an option, consider round tables to encourage discussion and fellowship
If you are planning to host the study at your parish, be sure to coordinate with someone who has a full view of activities happening at your parish. They can help you avoid conflicts and get the right equipment.
Get the Word Out
The best way to spread the word is in-person. Ask your friends to come. Invite people verbally—even over the phone. Everyone is more likely to respond to a personal invitation.
If you want to reach a broader audience, download our editable poster—fill in the correct information and post it around your community (parish, school, workplace, etc.).
Order a Leader Guide
While not strictly necessary, we strongly encourage you to order the Bible and the Sacraments Leader Guide. With suggested prayers and notes for facilitators, you'll be ready to lead your group with confidence and ease.
Encourage your friends to order the participant workbook to get the most out of the study.
Allow Time for Questions
Questions are an important, fruitful part of any study. While they can be intimidating, don't be afraid to respond, "I don't know, but I'll find out." Then email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you field the question.
Eating together enhances fellowship. Give people a chance to chat and snack (or even share a meal), and you'll find that you'll have better discussions during the actual study.
It can be hard to clear your schedule when you've got children relying on you. If you know they're in your target participant group, consider giving young mothers and fathers a leg up by offering childcare. Be sure your babysitters are qualified to work with children. (If you're hosting a study at home, consider hosting childcare at a separate location).
Encourage your participants to read the assigned Scripture (and Catechism, Swear to God, and Speaking the Love of God) chapters ahead of time to enhance learning and discussions.
Weekly Prayer Requests
We started with prayer, and we should always continue praying. Ask if anyone has prayer requests and get a small team (or commit yourself to) praying for those intentions each week.
Order a Leader Guide Today
Practical Tips for Presenting the Study in Your Home or Parish
Matthew Leonard and special guest Betsy Orr take you through the process of hosting a Bible Study—and show how successful you can be even in the comfort of your own home. Get tips and advice from these two experienced leaders and see how easy it is to spread the Good News in your own community.
It’s part of the St. Paul Center’s mission to share this Catholic Bible study with as many people as we can—and we’re excited to do so. If you would like to share in our mission and assist the production of other high quality Bible study series, please consider donating to the St. Paul Center. Even a small gift can make a big difference.