By Cyndee Ownbey
I love to read any time of year, but there’s something about slower summer schedules that provides more time for recreational reading. Your team may want to lean into the natural desire to pick up a book in the summer months by offering summer book club meetings.
Summer book clubs offer an opportunity for women to
- Gather with a different group of women
- Enjoy a recent book release
- Examine a book in relation to what the Bible says
- Fellowship with a focus
How do you host a summer book club? I’ve got answers to the most frequently asked book club questions below.
How many books club meetings should we offer?
One meeting per book is all that is needed.
If you’re a smaller church or launching a summer book club for the first time, you may want to offer one meeting each month in June, July, and August. If you’re in a larger church, you may find it helpful to offer more options, perhaps six or more.
Some of your women may read more than one book, and others will read just one. The flexibility to choose is a great option!
Where should book club meetings be held?
One church we attended held book club meetings in church members’ homes. However, we have also held some at our church. The best location is one that is cozy and welcoming and that allows for great conversation.
You may want to create a list of reminders for your hostesses such as putting up pets and tidying their bathroom. They may want to offer water and even a small snack, although that’s not necessary.
Either way, make sure you set a size limit on your groups (12 works well) so that everyone has a chance to take part in the discussion.
How long should a book club meeting last?
It can take a little bit for the discussion to get going, especially if the women do not know each other well. Include time for a quick introduction and an icebreaker question related to the topic of the book to help get things started.
One and a half to two hours is sufficient and allows women to return home promptly if needed.
What types of books should we choose?
Recent Bible study books can be a great option. Nonfiction, biography, and fiction books can be good too. Consider asking your women what books they recommend. Keep your eyes open for possible facilitators as the book recommendations are shared!
Every book featured should be vetted and read completely from start to finish. Know who the author is and what they believe. Every book should be in alignment with what the Bible says and in line with the doctrine of your church. Your church may require that a staff member preview and approve each book.
What do we discuss?
Some books may have discussion questions in the back or even a separate study guide. Either way, let the facilitator decide how to direct the conversation. Some facilitators like to walk through the book chapter by chapter.
Always bring it back to Jesus and the Bible. How did the book reflect the truths we read in Scripture? How did the faith of the characters influence their actions? Did the author open your eyes to view a scriptural or biblical truth in a new way? If so, how?
Summer book clubs can be a great alternative or addition to your summer Bible study schedule. I hope you’ll give them a try!
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