There is no shortage of Bible study tools available today. Entire bookstores are full of resources just begging to be used.

The challenge is, many of us struggle to be consistent in our Bible study. Without accountability and community it is easy to spend our lives focused on what is “urgent” rather than “important”. Hoping we grow spiritually, rather than being intentional about it. We buy a book, bring it home, and within days it’s collecting dust.

While it may seem anti-intuitive, this is one area where the move to a more tech savvy church can help. Don’t get me wrong, technology can isolate us from others very quickly. But, it can also bridge the gap between our desire to grow and the reality of our busy lives.

So, here are ways we can use online Bible study to help our congregations become better disciples.

1) Teach a Bible study online

One solution is to offer the class live online each week. It’s casual, and gives you interaction and accountability without the drive-time. Several companies offer free versions of their software that your church could implement.

FreeConference

  • Unlimited conference calls connecting participants by phone and web browser.
  • Free dial-in numbers in over 17 countries
  • 200 Audio participants who can dial by phone or join by web.
  • Your own personal online meeting room.
  • 10 Online Meeting Participants
  • View up to three (3) separate webcams in HD video per session.
  • Share your screen with the click of a button – 100% download free.
  • Mobile apps, automated invitations and reminders, moderator controls & more!

Google Hangouts

  • Google Drive/Docs integration
  • Video call – 10 concurrent users
  • Phone call – 10 concurrent users
  • Messaging – 150 users
  • Chat
  • YouTube sharing
  • Screen sharing
  • Free service
  • Android, iOS and Chrome browser support
  • Your own personal online meeting room.
  • Share your screen.
  • Automated invitations and reminders, moderator controls & more

UberConference

  • Phone and VoIP Audio (PINs Required)
  • Up to 10 Participants
  • Unlimited Conferences
  • Screen and Document Sharing
  • Call Recording
  • HD Quality Audio
  • Mobile Apps

Zoom

  • 1 to 1 meetings
  • 50 people capacity
  • Video call
  • Audio call-in
  • Web conferencing
  • Desktop and application sharing
  • Personal room or meeting ID
  • Instant or scheduled meetings
  • Google Chrome and Outlook integration
  • MP4 or M4A recording
  • Private and group chat
  • Host controls
  • Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android
  • Group messaging
  • Screen Sharing
  • User management

2) Record a live Bible study

Admittedly, a recording losses the goal of community building. But, it gives your congregation the ability to catch up on missed classes or studies.

Many of the above options offer a recording option you can post later but another to consider is…

Google Hangouts on Air

  • Broadcast live in HD on Google, YouTube and your website
  • Take audience questions in advance and answer the best ones live
  • Edit and share a copy of the broadcast.
  • Add your Hangout On Air recordings to your YouTube channel
  • Use customization and advanced controls to create the kind of experience you want
  • Free service

This ties together the power of a live recording that can be viewed later, or the ability to pre-record a class and make it available online later.

3) Screencast a Bible study

Screencasting is a process where you record your computer screen while adding a voiceover. This works great when you have created PowerPoint or Keynote presentations to help with the lesson. Add the video to your website and use comments to continue a conversation about the study.

Options include…

Regardless of which direction you chose, remember, the goal is to help your church become better disciples.

I would love to hear how you are using online studies. Let me know in the comments below.