What Can BSF Improve?

As suggested by a reader, I am posing this question.  If you have a suggestion, please post your comment below.  This may help Bible Study Fellowship and leaders spread the Good News to many more.

If you don’t have a suggestion for an improvement, you may also list problems you find as well. Through prayer, God will provide the solutions.  However, please keep it positive criticism. Complaining will do no one any good.

My suggestions:  Since Day 1, I’m been a proponent of online BSF groups.  There are so many who cannot attend classes but who have internet and would love to have an online community to study the Word.  Notes should be online.  Lectures should be online.  We can’t make them all due to life circumstances, illness, etc.  It would be nice to not feel like you are not missing out.

Replace the hymns with modern Christian music.  I guarantee BSF would grow 10 fold.  Keep the classics as well, but mix it up a bit.

One that’s not quite so tangible:  loosen up a bit.  Sometimes I feel like BSF is too serious.  Decorum must be followed, yes.  But a little fun and laughter never hurt anyone.  I feel like the leaders and admin team are so afraid of saying something not politically correct or of offending someone that they have walls around them that make them seem stuffy.

Bible study in general has an air about it of being boring (and it often is).  Add some fun and you’ll add people (and kids)!

Previous post HERE

Thanks in advance and God Bless!

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86 comments on “What Can BSF Improve?

  1. brdybnch0401 says:

    What Can BSF Improve?:

    Hmmmm, good question. I come with a group of girls. It is the only way I am able to attend. I am on low income and can’t afford the gas to get there and living in the middle of a cornfield I am not on a busline (not that I could afford that either). I also am a single parent and homeschool my daughter. Back in December I was forced to make a decision between being a part of the group that I am in or being a parent. All in part because BSF will NOT allow me to bring my daughter even for one day. I think this is highly judgemental given the fact she is 13 years old and no one would even know she is there. I think reaching out to more people or even the ones that are there should entail remembering that not everyone falls within a certain set of rules and sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. In fact I came very close to completely quitting BSF. As a struggling Christian I just simply do not understand Religious organizations that find it so easy to be judgemental and still consider themselves to be religious. I truly doubt of all things that God would want us to have to make a decision between religion and being a parent. I would think they should both fall up there together as both being priorities that no one should have to give up either for another.

    • Candice Unger says:

      Just an idea here…..but how about you ask your Teaching Leader to pray about your daughter becoming a volunteer or helper in the children’s ministry?? I’ve NEVER known BSF to not help figure out some sort of comprise or advice in an issue like this. Don’t just post here…..go directly to the Teaching Leader and talk and pray this over with her!

    • Is it possible to take your daughter to the evening class with a grade school program?

    • Debbie Horn says:

      It would be nice if there was a way to email bsf headquarters when a person has concerns.

  2. Even though I write very small, there is never enough room for some of my answers, Space between questions need to be MUCH longer,

    • Stacy says:

      I create a Word document, copy the questions there, and type my answers, then print it out. Some of our ladies’ printing is so small, that if they answered the questions 2 or 3 days before, they can’t read it and maybe not even remember what they wrote. I know printing and paper costs would go up if we expand the answer pages.

      • Teresa says:

        The “space” is intended for a word or two to prompt your discussion, it’s not meant to write your complete, grammatically correct response to be read in class, although that is what many students tend to do. This helps the group leader stay on time.

      • Cidky says:

        Teresa, this may be a lesson we need to learn. I would love to see an example or two of how you’ve answered questions in one or two words (not answers such as, “Jesus” or “Holy Spirit.” It would be so helpful to many of us.

  3. Quinn says:

    I would like for the notes to be provided online. If you are on the waitlist to get in to BSF or unable to make it one day, they should be made available!

    • Vicky says:

      Go to Get Lesson Questions page. Choose to get the questions. They are provided in a PDF form. I copy them over into a Word document and can type my answers in depth if I choose. I’d like BSF to issue the instructions on their Web site for those not computer savy.

      • Tonia says:

        You don’t have to copy them into Word document. The PDF document allows you to type in your answer and save it in PDF format. I download the questions, answer the questions, then save it to my computer and rename it to Life Of Moses Lesson 01, etc. You can save it at any point, pull it up later to finish working on it. I have a file for each year of study. One tip when using the PDF format, my default for Adobe Reader is to use the hand tool, I have to change it to Select Tool every time I use it.

      • Stacy says:

        If you use the PDF form to type in questions, it does not allow you to add blank lines for a lengthy answer. You must convert to Word fie to do so.

    • Teresa says:

      You should be able to get the home discussion page downloaded as a pdf. If not, continue to pray that God would open a spot for you in a class.

  4. Betty says:

    I have a hearing problem and even with a hearing aid I can not understand teachers with very low voices. It would be good if BSF could put the deaf people in one class with either a sound system or a teacher who speaks distinctly and louder. I finally quit BSF because I could not understand the teacher and I was uncomfortable not being sure what was said. There was another lady in the class who said she could not hear, “speak up” she would say but still we could not hear clearly. That problem could easily be remied if they would work with the deft a little more. It is truly a good program for those who are blessed with good hearing!

    • Rosana says:

      Betty – i think you problem was with the specific group you go to because my group has a sound system. We meet at a church that has a sound system. Did you go up to the leader and explain your problem?

    • Vicky says:

      I have had the same problem – even though I’m wearing very expensive hearing aids, so many ladies speak so softly – including discussion leader – even though I’ve explained my hearing problem many times, they still mumble. I am ready to just quit BSF and do some studies online.

    • Vicky says:

      Betty, I also have a hearing problem and wear hearing aids, yet I cannot hear some of the women giving their answers. Their voices are so low and their heads are bent down looking at their notes. I’ve asked a few of them to please speak a little louder, but they soon are back to muttering. I get so frustrated.

    • Stacy says:

      I have the same problem. I wear expensive hearing aids and still can’t hear some of the discussion, even though I explained my problem, some attendees mumble, speak softly, etc. I get frustrated and so I’m not going back after 5 years. You would think when I ask members to please repeat their answer, etc. they would remember. It’s MY problem and probably won’t go back this year. Also, questions are often repeated from one lesson to another, and too many personal questions.

    • Stacy says:

      I had the same problem! Not with just the soft voices of group leaders, but also the other ladies in my group when they answered questions or contributed to a discussion. I was in the dark half the time, even though I explained that I wear hearing aids, etc. and would be grateful if we all spoke up. So frustrating! Good idea to group those with hearing problems – I know I’m not the only one.

  5. Michael says:

    I don’t understand why the notes aren’t available online. That would be really helpful!
    I wish there was more fellowship. We are only allowed to read the answers and nothing else. They also keep talking about not missing any because then you might not have a spot for Revelation in the fall. Why not just make more room? Are you really going to turn down people who want to study the Word of God?

  6. Shirley Johnson says:

    I think they should ask more questions about the lesson you are on and not so much on personal questions, because we are living in a new era from the Old Testament people.

    • Vicky says:

      I so agree, and have begun skipping the personal questions. After 30+ years of Bible Study, I’ve have had plenty of life application from my pastor and church leaders – in addition to the Word itself.

    • Stacy says:

      Absolutely!!! We could learn a lot more if the lessons stuck to questions about scripture rather than attendees opinions, personal experiences, etc. Some of them go on and on and on and we have to rush to finish the study.

      • Teresa says:

        So I guess if you look over your life, Stacy, there is not one instance when someone else’s struggles helped you through a tough situation of your own? Iron sharpens Iron, after all.

        I’m also surprised at this entire thread that no one questions the credibility of Atozmom. If she is not directly tied into the BSF Board of Directors, she has no influence on the design and execution of BSF. I don’t know what her motive is in asking the “improvement” question other than to incite a bunch of complainers that are taking advantage of this award winning FREE bible study. If you don’t like it, move on. Millions of people world wide are coming to saving relationships with Jesus Christ & deepening their walk with God directly as a result of BSF.

  7. Beth Wallace says:

    I wish we could have access to the large group lecture if we are absent. I have only missed BSF a few times this year and all because a child was home sick. I get so much out of the lecture as we have an amazing leader and am so sad that I cannot get access to her wisdom when I have a legitimate excuse for missing.

  8. Barb Johnston says:

    I have been attending BSF for 5 yrs. now. Last year I had to miss a lot & finally dropped out because of my dog that was very ill. She was a priority for me so I dropped out to care for her up to her passing. The year before, I also had to miss some time as my niece came up missing and we left the area to go south to help in the search for her. Her remains were found eventually. With that said, I am somewhat “miffed” that BSF has made it known this year that people will be selected and allowed to attend Revelations based on this year’s attendance. “If you have a good attendance record you will be allowed to attend Revelations”. This is because of the popularity of the study and so many people wanting to attend, that they are setting this rule. I don’t understand why BSF doesn’t accommodate ALL who want to study Revelations, regardless of past attendance, etc. God wants his Word available to ALL and as I see it BSF is setting guidelines as to who can and cannot. There are many, many reasons for absence and I’m sure most are valid reasons. This year the “devil” hasn’t stepped in my way so I’ve made all classes but one due to illness. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. If God wants us all in his Word, and I know He does, then BSF should make that happen. There is no reason why they can’t set the study up to enable all who want to attend to be able to. We all want to study the book of Revelations!

    • wendy says:

      Barb, I think the only reason for this is because the expect a HUGE influx of people attending, but they do not know how many classroom leaders would be needed at this point. I don’t think they want to bar you from coming because of your attendance, they just want to give those with good past attendance the first spots. I do believe that those with less than great attendance would be put on a waiting list and, as the year gets started and they see just how many people do come, and how many teachers they will need, that they will call back those on the waiting list once they get more classroom leaders in place. BTW they use this criteria and use this procedure every year, not just for Revelation. I just think they are stressing it now more than usual, because they expect such a large response to Revelation. I am so very sorry for the loss of both your precious dog and the death of your niece…how awful! God bless you!

    • LeeAnn says:

      The reasons BSF is not able to accommodate everyone are two-fold: 1) Your church may not have enough space for that many more discussion groups or a sanctuary large enough to accommodate more. 2) There may not be enough leaders willing to be trained this spring in order to be ready to serve as Group Leaders when the class begins in the fall. It is not that BSF is trying to keep people out–far from it! Why would you think that? So given the restrictions of each church building & the leadership available for groups, some criteria have to be given to determine who is most likely to be there regularly & who needs to hear God’s Word for the first time.

  9. Carroll says:

    DEAR brdybnch0401,
    I have been in this wonderful Bible study since 1999- a Woman’s Day group. The fact is, they have loosened up their guidelines a great deal. When I first started, we had to sit right next to each other in the lecture all squashed together leaving no room when we all had coats, purses and BSF bags. Since then they have relaxed their guidelines quite a bit in many different ways.
    Now for your problem, I don;t think judgmental is quite the right word. You were inconvenienced. What if everybody suddenly brought their children at the same time. It would be quite a distraction and they have guidelines to follow regarding the safety for children. Depending on where you are meeting, it might even violate health and fire regulations. If you have to make a choice between attending class or staying with your daughter, I say stay home with your daughter. You are not choosing between family and religion, You are simply making a choice that we all have to make when life gives us two good opportunities. We all have to miss sometimes. Family is more important than one class. Trust me, if you are passionate about studying the Bible, they won’t kick you out. God Bless You, Carroll

    • wendy says:

      I was going to say the same thing, Carroll. It most likely has to do with the regulations of where you are attending BSF rather than BSF itself. If something happened to your daughter while she was there, they would be liable. And yes, we have all had to make the choice between staying home with a child or going to class. I hate missing class, but sometimes your place is just home with your child. And that’s ok! God Bless You!

  10. Carol Ann says:

    They leave a huge space for one or two words or a short sentence, and then a tiny space where we have to squish several sentences in. Wish they would address this issue. All in all, it has been a wonderful 10 years in BSF and the Holy Spirit has revealed God’s Word to me through our sharing in our groups and through my lecture leader. I thank God for BSF!

    • Vicky says:

      I feel sorry for some of the ladies who have to write so small and crowd their answers that by the time they get to the discussion group they have difficulty reading their answers! Learn how to download the questions and copy them over into a Word document. It’s so easy. Wish BSF would include the instructions on their Web site.

  11. Suzan says:

    I love BSF and this is my 2nd year so I am still “watching and learning’. There is definitely a BSF “culture”. I think one way it could be improved is to maximize technology. To get the lessons AND notes online, be able to save them to your device, would be a HUGE money saving item. To be able to access the lecture, even audio, when absent, would be amazing. That is so easily done now. I hope this is not taken in any way to be a negative note, rather an idea to save funds that could be used for other ministries and groups in poor areas. BSF is a daily blessing in my life!

  12. Lissette says:

    I went to BSF for years but now I am not able to go. Why can’t they publish the notes and questions on the computer? Surely it isn’t because they are afraid that they will not get as much attendance?
    My other comment is, what is so bad about doing research on the questions before you answer them? When I asked that they said that it would not allow the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you. I doubt that the Holy Spirit is that limited!! The wonderful thing about BSF is that it makes you dig and look for information. The Holy Spirit always helped me discern whether it was biblical or not.
    I really miss BSF and would gladly pay to get the notes and questions on computer.
    Think about how many more people they could reach with the Word of God.

    • LeeAnn says:

      Researching the questions beforehand allows you to find out what other people (Christians & non-Christians alike, & you may not know the difference at the time!) think about the question. It is far more spiritually rewarding to pray, asking God to reveal to you personally what He has to say to you. What He says to you may not be found in any book written by others, so if you go there first, you risk missing what He has to say to you in your present circumstances. Wouldn’t you rather have that personal, intimate revelation from God’s Holy Spirit than to find a “right” answer from someone else? BSF is all about helping us how to experience that more personal relationship with God.

      • Lissette says:

        Thank you for your answer. I also asked “Why can’t they publish the notes and questions on the computer? Surely it isn’t because they are afraid that they will not get as much attendance? I would be willing to pay to get them.

      • Teresa says:

        Bsf is a 4-part approach–face-to-face experiences (lecture and discussion) are a critical part of that approach. There are plenty of online studies that you can do by yourself but we are not called to do life by ourselves.

    • Denise J says:

      If I’m having difficulty with a question, I usually use two or three different translations. I normally come up with something relevant, even if I skip a question. In most cases, the answer comes to me. You can get the questions from the computer by going to the website.

      I agree with you regarding the notes and lecture. It would be great to have an online class. Perhaps that is coming. We actually have a BSF technology seminar next week.

    • Vicky says:

      Re: the notes. They are protected by a patent. This is, after all, a business in addition to being a Bible Study. If people could get the notes free online they wouldn’t have to attend the lecture or the discussion group. BSF has their reasons for their rules, etc. even if I don’t agree with all of them.

      • Lissette says:

        If it is a business why not allow people that cannot go to meetings to pay for them on line?

      • atozmom says:

        BSF is not a business. They are a non-profit meaning they legally cannot operate for profit. Laws differ by state but as a non-profit they are tax exempt as long as they don’t make a profit beyond what is allowed to operate and fulfill their purpose for the community. If they do, then they are no longer a non-profit and thus subject to taxes like a business. This is why the notes are free as are the classes. They are driven by donations only. If they charged for the notes, they’d be a business.

        What you say is true about the notes. Yet what about snow days and days we all miss now and then. People are going to attend or not and the availability of the notes has little to do with it.

  13. everlyne imbosa says:

    So far haven`t seen anything to complain,my wish is to grow spiritually& with BSF,I see my self capturing something in the Kingdom.

    God bless all

  14. cathy says:

    Cathy says: I love BSF. I wish the notes were given to us before the lecture so we could read and study them before coming to BSF. We here the lecture and then the notes are what the Leander spoke on. In class I would like to get into more discussion time than just rushing over the questions. Maybe less questions so we can review topics in class. I thank God that I found BSF. It a great Bible Study

  15. eeyoresk says:

    I would like to have the leaders introduced at the beginning of the year. Those who work behind the scenes, so we get an idea of how many people it takes to run a class. Also, and especially, I’d love to know what my teaching leader’s name is. This is only my second year in BSF and I’ve missed maybe 2 classes out of all this time, but I’ve never heard her introduce her name. I’ve absolutely no idea what her full name is. I’ve heard nicknames, but nothing from her.

    • LeeAnn says:

      Why don’t you go up & introduce yourself and ask your Teaching Leader what her name is? It is not a secret. You can also talk to the Admin leaders in the back and ask them how many of them there are. They would love to get to know you. You can also ask how many Children’s Leaders there are.

    • Denise J says:

      I’m sure you’re not the only one having a hard time remembering names. I started BSF about 10 years ago and we always had the large clip on name tags. The group leader normally creates them for her group. They clip on and each person is responsible for wearing their own tag every week. Perhaps you could suggest that idea to your BSF leader and, if possible, volunteer to make the first batch of nametags. The prices vary, just do a search for name tag badges or name tag holders. I hope this helps.

  16. Teresa says:

    BSF is a wonderful privilege, not a right. This study is not for everyone and sometimes the timing is not right for people to attend. Does everyone know that BSF is run almost exclusively on volunteers and 100% on class donations? That class size is limited to the facility that is gracious enough to host? The limiting factor is usually the children’s department. They must have enough space & volunteers for our children to have a safe, god-centered experience. The key word: “SAFE”. To all who are concerned about getting in for Revelation, pray that God will clear the way for you to attend and know that the answer might be–“You’re not ready for Revelation, wait a few years, it’ll come back around”. If you want the notes after you’ve missed a lecture, go ask for them. There are 4 parts to BSF: Lecture, study, discussion, notes. Five parts really–fellowship with other Christians with the same goal: to know Christ in all his fullness. You can’t get that online. There are plenty of online bible studies, why not do them? Is there room for improvement? Of course…Christ hasn’t returned yet.

  17. CL in tx says:

    Hmm… I would think the number one thing to do if you want BSF to improve is… be a part of the serving! Why not approach your leadership team and ask where you can serve? I joined leadership in my group two years ago, and thought I was doing God the favor by giving of my time & energy. He will always bless you more than you can bless Him in your service! The privilege has been mine to be allowed to serve!

  18. Julia says:

    I agree with the above comments that the excellent BSF lesson notes should be available on-line like the questions which are very easy to get. It would save BSF money, and having the notes would make it easier to stimulate more discussions in class. I agree with also having less personal type questions so the class can be more involved and go into detail on the regular questions. Our group barely has time to finish all the questions because the personal questions can get very lengthy with 1-2 folks giving their ideas. I enjoy their comments, but since they are of a personal, individual bias, they take up quite a bit of premium time. Personal questions are OK to have as an adjunct to let one think about how it might apply to their life, BUT not for class discussion when time is at a premium. Singing all the stanzas of 2 hymns before being dismissed to class, and then all the stanzas of one song before the lecture, takes up valuable teaching and learning time. Maybe shorten hymns to one and one with only 2-3 stanzas to allow for more class discussion. Finally, I feel that reading Biblical commentaries from greatly anointed men of God would enhance and not take away from learning. BSF could even give some names of accepted commentaries that could be used. If someone doesn’t desire to use them that is OK, but sometimes I get the feeling that BSF thinks I am “cheating” and makes it like a taboo if someone in the class states they read a commentary to get a better insight to a question. The BSF leaders are generally well versed in the Bible, but they are not authoritative and experts, and sometimes with some difficult questions, it seems like it is the “blind leading the blind.” All I want sometimes is more info, much like we get from the excellent notes that Atozmom gives us along with her thoughts and comments. The benefits of BSF are great as has been pointed out before, but good constructive ideas never hurts. BSF has changed a lot for the good over the years that I have been attending: from an almost too legalistic,regimented elementary school type classroom with many rules and regulations to follow, into a more relaxed forum to teach and proclaim Jesus and His Gospel.

  19. Tonia says:

    I would like to be able to research certain questions, not to copy the answer, but to get a background, the history. Sometimes the answer hinges on historical data or customs of the times. They tell us not to do that, to let the Holy Spirit speak, then when we are in the discussion group the leader will say, “Just wait till you get the notes, it will be explained.” The writers of the notes have done research and have come up with historical facts and data that they include in the notes, things they have found out doing researchl. If they can do it, why can’t I? Does the Holy Spirit not speak to them when they’re writing the notes?

  20. Mary Ann says:

    After reading all the wonderful comments and suggestions on how to make BSF a better experience, I’ve come us with a few also. First, the notes should be available online. Second, there are too many personal questions. Third, more space to answer the questions should be allotted. Fourth, we should be allowed to use any commentary we wish to help us understand and answer the questions more fully. Fifth, there should not be volunteers for the children’s programs. We all come to BSF to learn, and not to be babysitters! Each mother should take a turn several times a year to stay with the children. After all, the kids belong to them. And lastly, the fellowships should all be held before class and not after at someone’s home. The ones held before class seem to work better and flow right into class time. Having to travel to someone’s home, bring a lunch, etc. doesn’t work well for many of us who need to be elsewhere when BSF is over. Also, some of us cannot fit too many people into our homes or have a personal reason why we do not wish to be a host. These are some of my suggestions. One more, about the singing of the hymns. I agree that singing all of the verses are too much. One or two would suffice.

    • Barb says:

      Ditto!!!

    • Rosana says:

      Mary Ann – The way your group has their fellowships in homes is up to your group. It is not a BSF rule, My group has fellowships before class starts.

      • Mary Ann says:

        Thanks, Rosana, didn’t know this. When there is a fellowship before class the teaching leader announces it the week before, and our group leader advises us a few days before by telephone. I just took it to mean that BSF tells the teaching leader when to have them before class, otherwise they are to be scheduled in the individual group classes at someone’s home.

      • Teresa says:

        There are 3-4 All-class fellowships that are scheduled by the administrative teams. The other fellowships are at the discretion of the individual groups. Groups are encouraged (but not required) to have 2-3 extra fellowships. Those are usually scheduled and placed in a venue that works for most of the group. Like any group, it’s rare to get 100% attendance and I’m sure all group leaders do their best to accommodate everyone. When my kids were little, it was very difficult for me to attend fellowships because I didn’t have child care that’s why I’m so grateful for the All-class fellowships at our host church where the kids get to go to their classes as well.

  21. Stephanie says:

    I would like for the group time to loosen up in that I don’t think we need to discuss every single question. Several are factual and we simply don’t need to spend time on them. I would rather not rush so much to fit it all in, leaving less time to discuss the more challenging questions.

    As far as the notes being online, I’m sure that’s because they don’t want “rogue” BSF groups to start, using all their material without the accountability. It would be really easy for someone who is registered in a class also use all the material for their own group, which wouldn’t be accountable to the organization, which I think is part of the success of BSF.

    I also agree about needing more space to write.

  22. Mary Jo W. says:

    I am not sure why, but you seem to be two weeks ahead of where I am in my BSF class. That being said, that is why this comment about improvements for BSF is tardy. My suggestion is for us sight-impaired people. I can read just fine, and stiudy my Bible just fine, but reading the BSF notes is difficult for me. They are a little too light in print and a little too small in font size. I know they have CDs I could get for each lesson, but I am not blind, my eyes are just old. If BSF could print the notes in a larger font size or offer them online so I could print them out larger that would be great.

    Are you going to forward these suggestions to anyone in charge at BSF headquarters? ZThe reasn I ask that is that I’ve asked my local BSF leaders and sent an email concerning this to BSF International, but nothing has come of it.

    • atozmom says:

      Mary Jo,

      No, this will remain on my site. I have been told that enough leaders read my blog that I am trusting these suggestions to make it to BSF headquarters by word of mouth. Great suggestions as I’m sure you’re not the only one who would like a larger size on the notes.

      If the notes were to be posted online, then you yourself could expand the font size with just a click of the button with no extra cost to BSF. You would be able to change the font type as well. I would suggest going that route: asking when the notes will be made available online. That to me would be the most economical and practical solution to your problem.

      Thanks for chiming in and pray your request is answered!

      God bless!

  23. Mede says:

    I am curious as to whether or not there is some type of vetting process for teaching leaders. Not all children’s leaders can transition into the teaching leader position. although my leader is very sweet her lectures sound like she is just rereading the story to children. Many of us are zoning out and/or skipping “lecture”. Yes we are praying for her I feel terrible saying that but it is true. Okay so am I grumbling at a chosen leader?

    As for the music….it would be great to add some contemporary songs.

    • atozmom says:

      Good question. I have no idea how group leaders, children’s leaders, or teaching leaders are chosen. Would love to know though for all you leaders out there to chime in!

      Praying is the right thing. Not sure. Only God knows but an engaging teaching leader is very, very important. Otherwise, many do skip. I skip when the substitute teaching leader is speaking because she’s monotone and I fall asleep. I think your concern is valid and prayer is the way to go here.

      • Anna says:

        Leaders are chosen by prayer. I am a CL and this is what I’ve seen in my group for choosing CLs… u volunteer in the school program. Based on your interactions with the children and questions u ask the CLs and just how interested u r, they will let their CS know. She will pray about it and pass it on to the TL who will pray about it. TL will contact the GL and ask about your interactions in the group too. TL will call u to pray about it and later she will inter view u. And ask for references, whom she will call. If u accept then background checks and training.

        Lots and lots of prayer. And commitment. Our leaders group meets Saturdays at 7am and we get to class nights at least 30 mins early. Not to mention the prep we do for teaching children. And we all struggle with discussion questions too and are not allowed to read the notes or bible footnotes and commentaries until after we answer our disc qs like the members.

        As far as can tell, leadership is always looking for new leaders. If you feel God calling you to be a leader, pray about God making it clear to you and express interest to your GL or TL. They will earnestly pray about it. And once you are in leadership, should u step down one year, u r always welcomed back to leadership.

        Also, they ask people who have been attending class for at least a year, at least in my case.

        Do you want to be a leader? I think being part of leadership is awesome! Camaraderie, love, encouragement, accountability, personal and spiritual growth, these are just some of the benefits.

    • Vicky says:

      Re music: do we need to sing all four thousand verses of a hymn, when two would be fine. Also, can we incorporate some contemporary songs?

      • Carol says:

        Hymns/choruses are dependent on the church’s hymnal (if the church even has a hymnal) or what is public domain. To display on a screen, contemporary music requires a fee and my understanding is that BSF Classes are not permitted to do that.

  24. Audrey says:

    This is my first year at BSF and I absolutely love it! I have done Bible studies for years and find this one to be the most organized and informative. I agree that they could loosen up a little bit. My leader is very stuffy and seems to squelch any laughter. Also, as a newbie I didn’t feel like I got enough information in the beginning. I didn’t know what the fellowships were all about so I didn’t go at first. Sorry I missed out on that blessing. If someone would have told me what to expect I would have gone. Also there is a lot of BSF lingo that the newbies are not familiar with. On the schedule it says Sharing Day. How was I supposed to know what that was? When I asked my leader what the last day of class would be, she said “Didn’t you see it on the schedule? It said sharing day.” Just so you know, it seems like my group does almost all contemporary Christian music. I would actually enjoy a few old classics now and then. I have been in church for 30 years and every week we sing a song I’ve never heard before. I agree about putting the lectures online. That would be really helpful if you had to miss. Overall, I love it and I have encouraged a lot of friends to join me. It would just be nice if they worked a little harder on the details for the newcomers.

  25. Melody Sanders says:

    Hello. I found your blog a few weeks ago. This is my second year in BSF and I’m finding it to be more difficult than Moses. This question may have already been posed, but I was wondering why friends aren’t normally “allowed” in the same class. I went with a neighbor last year to the opening day and thought I would be in her group but I was not. I loved my group once I got to know them but there were two ladies who were somehow able to get put in the same group and I wondered how they managed it. I have not been able to connect as easily with my group this year although I really like our leader.

    • atozmom says:

      I requested one year to be put with my sister and I was. I think you just have to speak to the Administrative staff and when you sign up for a new year, you can make the request. Hope that helps!

  26. Annette Mayne says:

    Have you heard of Community Bible Study? It is a global Bible study that was formed by women from BSF 40 years ago, it is everything you describe in your post as improvements to BSF.

  27. Lissette says:

    Atoz, do you know of a bible study online that is comparable to BSF? Or any good bible study on line?

    • atozmom says:

      Unfortunately, no. I have no recommendations. Sorry 😦

    • Carol says:

      Check out Community Bible Study, which is mentioned in the reply above. Not on line but in many places has more availability in local communities. communitybiblestudy.org And I ditto what Annette wrote. Most recommendations mentioned are covered and taken care of with this group.

      • Lissette says:

        I checked it out and not around here. I really am looking for a bible study on line. Would appreciate anyone that can recommend one.
        Thank you.

      • Stacy says:

        Lissette, check out Biblegateway.com, they offer different lessons. Kay Arthur of Precept Ministries also has a few free classes online. You can also check out some local churches that have Bible Study courses going on all the time. My Sunday School class has some folks who aren’t members of our church, but welcome anyone to attend the classes. You can also check out online study lessons. Check out You Tube. I watch/listen/learn with Chuck Missler, John Mac Arthur, Charles Stanley online. God Bless you for wanting to get into God’s word!

      • Lissette says:

        Thank you Stacy. I will look for the on line ones and the others you suggested. I watch Dr. Stanley every Sunday. He really is an inspiration.

        Would love to join an online bible study if he has one.

        Thank you again for your answer.

  28. Susan collins says:

    Instead of critiquing the class we should all be thankful we have a bsf class in our area to attend. I am thankful for the structure of it and how it is very organized. Too many people are worried about making the Bible and truth “fun” and “modern.” It is a different atmosphere than many and in turn allows more focus on the study instead of gossip or chatter. One idea-focus on the words/meanings of the hymns if the music bothers you.

    • Lissette says:

      I wouldn’t call it critiquing, just an opinion that we can agree with or dismiss.

    • Vicky says:

      I think you may see the discussion group in s too structured with little exchange of questions, thoughts outside the prescribed questions/discussion. I’m studying Jude and Titus in a Precepts class and we enjoy hearing how someone came up with an insight to what they read. Most of the time the leader is speaking and teaching, but we are free to ask other questions or thoughts or what was revealed to us. For some of us that is a great way to learning is in open discussion.

  29. God's Sheep says:

    I hope Bsf can select more caring and sincere leaders. There are few nice ones though. But there are cold ones, not interested ones, biased ones, not caring at all ones, authoritative ones or lack much in bible verses thus can share wrong truth which is dangerous.
    It’s not good when a leader does not know the answer to a question and leave answers open to members to discuss and wrong answers can be shared among one another. Cuz many members come with the purpose to learn Bible knowledge. God’s words are being compromised.

    Bsf lessons should be a good leader who have gone tru proper bible study and then feed the teaching of God’s words to all the Hungry sheep, hungry to understand God’s words.

    • Teresa says:

      You mean like you? Your GL is learning just like you. What we all learned last year is that God’s word is equally true but not equally clear and that’s where God’s grace comes in. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Did you know that you are personally prayed over every day by your GL? That there are hours of extra VOLUNTEER time devoted to your BSF experience?

  30. Jo says:

    I started BSF three years ago at the invitation of my stepmom. I was very please with my first year…then I moved to another location. There were some logistical issues, but nothing that couldn’t be worked out. However, when I had contacted headquarters to get some clarity on certain subjects, the entitlement attitude that I encountered made me think I’d dialed the wrong number or organization. I just got off the phone with headquarters, and again, my questions/concerns were met with a robotic like response and disinterest in being part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Now it is clear that they ARE the problem. I’ve been asked to be a small group leader and have considered leading a lecture at some point in the future. However, I can only pray that others who are seeking clarity in addition to the information they are given locally, will sound off regarding the chilly reception they will no doubt receive calling headquarters, and perhaps affect a change. The “Holier Than Thou” attitude doesn’t work, folks.

  31. Jo says:

    Some of you may want to go back and reread your posts. Seriously, let’s check the attitude before we get on the keyboard. You would never speak to one another face to face in such a manner. Why do it here? Just because you can hide behind a keyboard doesn’t mean you can hide from God.

  32. schussboom says:

    I found this post just as I discovered that BSF is doing away with the music component altogether for a “condensed” class. I guess they heard the suggestion to “get rid of hymns” — and I think they just did!

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