The Impact of Small Group Discipleship

Pray as ‘State of the Bible 2020’ reveals the importance of disciple making activities

American Bible Society’s newly released State of the Bible 2020 ebook has been a real eye opener! The first 5 chapters reveal cultural trends in the U.S. regarding spirituality and how Americans relate to the Bible not only in previous years but in this especially difficult pandemic year.

Now you can access chapter 6 entitled, Scripture Engagement and Discipleship. In this chapter, the data reveals how small group and one-on-one disciple making activities supercharge Scripture engagement and promote holistic wellbeing.

Small Groups, Mentoring, and Discipleship

COVID-19 has significantly impacted Scripture engagement among U.S. adults. One way the pandemic has impacted Christians has been by disrupting small group discipleship activities.

In January, half of Bible Users 49% indicated they were part of a faith community where they could discuss spiritual topics. By June, only 39% said they had participated in a faith community during the pandemic. Similarly, in January, 43% of Bible Users said they had participated in a Bible-focused small group within the past year. Fewer than one third of Bible Users 32% could say the same thing by June.

Although Scripture engagement is understood as a private spiritual discipline, using the Bible in relationship with others is important. Christians grow spiritually through Scripture engagement and through relationships with other Christ followers. Whether in a small group on in one-on-one mentoring, when Bible Users engage in discipleship activities, their relationship with God through the Scripture is deepened, and their holistic wellbeing is supported.

Many Christian ministries had been experimenting with digital discipleship options prior to 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Church to innovate, shifting discipleship activities online.

That’s where you come in. As our praying community, we invite you to pray for churches across America. Pray for God to give them creativity as they seek new and innovative ways to engage people in disciple making activities.

Let’s Pray Together

Father, we pray that in this season of COVID-19 that the church would be a beacon of hope. We pray for you to pour out wisdom and the resources needed for churches to help engage their congregants in small groups, mentoring and other disciple making activities.

To get Chapter 6, Scripture Engagement and Discipleship, download your free ebook below.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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