HomeBible TechBible Study3 Ways to do Online Bible Study

3 Ways to do Online Bible Study

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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 19 countries
  • 400 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 and  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.

Ryan Holck
Ryan Holckhttps://rad-ideas.com
Ryan is the founder of RAD Ideas and Graphics.Church. He works with churches and denominations to grow their ministry through graphic design and marketing strategy. Follow Ryan at RAD-Ideas.com.

11 COMMENTS

  1. What is the best software to organize Bible studies and faith building activities for 2000 employees in mobile (truck) settings? I want an ongoing record of who has done what. I want to send out links and messages.

  2. A couple of my brothers and I are doing a Bible study using Christ Formed in You and related study guide. We are thinking of adding a couple of more brothers from out of town and see the potential for adding others both out of town and local. At the present time we don’t see the need for recording or video but would like to see one another. I was thinking on using Skype but all of my documents are on my computer and Skype would interfere.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what we might use for conferencing at a minimum, with potential of adding video and or recording??

    • Hey Bill! You should check out either Slack or Discord. Both are chat apps that allow video calls. Discord allows up to 9 people to join a live video call; I think Slack is similar. Both also allow screensharing, so you can share your screen with everyone else in the video call if you’re the leader/presenter.

      By the way have you considered letting random strangers join your group? 🙂 As it happens I was just discussing yesterday with a friend about the possibility of doing an online Bible study. I’d love to join yours to see how it feels.

    • I use Zoom and love it. The free version allows for a think 30 minutes or less of recorded video, which is more than enough for me. I haven’t heard of using Slack or Discord for video – but it sounds like an interesting option. Cheers, Lauren

  3. The software to use for a screencast is My Screen Recorder. It is one of the best screen recording software. It records the screen and audio from the speakers or your voice from the microphone – or both simultaneously. The recordings are clear and look great when played back on your website, uploaded to YouTube or used in your presentation. One thing often overlooked – It will record directly to standard compressed formats that work with any video editor or any tool, no conversion required. And, the file sizes are small, making them easy to upload or distribute. Finally, it is not a subscription, just a one-time purchase.
    http://www.deskshare.com/screen-recorder.aspx

    • Thanks for the mention, Lauren! We are an online platform specifically designed to help churches distribute and engage their small group with custom study material. This is a perfect solution for churches who do sermon based small group material or are just looking for a way for their small groups to stay engaged throughout the week.

      We just launched and I’d love to answer any questions that anyone might have. I’d love to see as many churches as possible benefit from this software.

  4. Thank you so much for another post filled with wisdom. Church Tech Today provides valuable content.
    How would you compare a screencast and webinar? We are in the process of providing online bible studies but bot sure of the best way to proceed. Thank you! Blessings for all you do!

    • Hi Joelle, You ask a good question! I think webinar software has more flexibility than screencast technology, but I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison. I’d love to see if others might weigh in with this question. I do know Google Hangouts can work as well.

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