Summary: Thousands of B90 groups have been gathered around the world … but, you’ve never started a group. No worries: begin right here to learn the basics of how to start a B90 group of your own.
Journeying through the Bible in 90 Days (B90) with a group together greatly increases the chance of success, and yields the highest finish rates. The premise is simple: all participants read 12 pages a day using the B90 Bible on their own. Then, once a week, they meet together in a group for discussion, viewing a teaching DVD, and fellowship. Meeting times usually last at least one hour. This gives every participant an accountability group, a chance to share insights, and to get an overview of the previous week’s reading (via the DVD).
Who can lead a group?
Almost anyone really. By using the recommended resources, even those with little knowledge of the Bible can lead a group through The Bible in 90 Days. This works because the B90 Leader’s Kit is designed to help you facilitate a group rather than teach. The main criteria for a leader is that he/she be committed to leading a group through the reading — and either (a) will be reading along with the group or (b) has previously read through the entire Bible.
Starting a group.
First, select the dates of your reading session and your meeting day. Think about the time of year and the availability of potential participants as you select your dates. For example, starting a B90 group near the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays will be too challenging. It’s far better to lead a B90 session which ends before Thanksgiving — it will be more successful. Think of days and times that will be most convenient to you and your group.
Choose a video series.
A unique feature of B90 is that it offers two full series of DVD video lessons to choose from:
- One series of lessons is led by Jack Modesett, a business man, former Chairman of the Board of Christianity Today, and gifted communicator. Jack presents his insights in effective and entertaining ways that keep participants engaged in their daily reading.
- The other series is led by John Walton, PhD and Mark Strauss, PhD. John teaches Old Testament at Wheaton Graduate School and College and is the author of several books on the Old Testament. Mark is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego and a member of the Committee on Bible Translation, and has written or contributed to numerous books and articles on the New Testament.
Prepare for the first meeting.
Your initial gathering should be an information session. When possible, take advance registration and have the Bible in 90 Days materials on-hand for participants to purchase. Inform potential participants about B90 material costs before the first meeting so they can be ready to make purchases.
Publicize the first meeting in advance.
When offering a church-wide or public setting for B90, use emails, fliers, your church newsletter or bulletin, or social media to spread the word. Feel free to use any of our B90 logos in your materials. As participants register in advance, also encourage them to invite a friend to join the group.
Think outside the original target audience.
When the Denver Post visited a Bible in 90 Days host church, there were 600 participants! Of the 600, there 200 who weren’t even members of that church … they came from the surrounding community! You just never know whom you might reach with the Bible in 90 Days.
FAQs: know the answers.
Be prepared to answer most Frequently Asked Questions. Help your group members understand what materials they will need and why and what will be expected of them.
Plan for accountability.
The B90 Leader’s Guide details a simple and effective reader-accountability plan using two-colored name tags. At first, you might be uncomfortable using this group accountability method … roll with it. Alternatively, groups can use a roll call to announce if they are caught up or not. Other groups have used a check-in sheet to indicate their reading status. Know your group, then encourage everyone to acknowledge where they are each week so that no one gets too far behind.
Keep group sizes small.
If a group has more than 12 participants, then divide it into two smaller groups for accountability and discussion, but ALWAYS view the DVD together as the larger group. Appoint a discussion leader for each small group. In the B90 Participant’s Guide, you’ll find discussion “rules of engagement” that will help guide the discussion times. Remember: this is not a Bible study … it’s just reading through the entire Bible. As facilitator, you must ensure that all discussion takes that into account.
Set a finish date.
Clearly set a finish date so everyone is fixed on the same goal. People can join in later, but it will be a huge challenge for them to finish on time. Starting together, being on time, with consistency, sets up participants for success, and will minimize discouragement, dropouts, or failing to finish.
Many groups celebrate the half-way mark (usually week 7) with refreshments. Even more groups plan a completion or graduation party for the last meeting. So take advantage of our B90 Completion Certificates for your completion party. Also ask your graduates to share their stories here on the B90 Testimonials page. Finally, encourage graduates to spread the word about Bible in 90 Days. Perhaps some of them will launch new B90 groups!