First Love FAQs

How long does the Bible study last?

This is a 22 week study plus an introduction week for a total of 23 weeks’ worth of meetings.  The introduction week involves passing out the 
First Love Bible studies, signing the Small Group Contract, reading through the introduction together, a group activity, and group discussion.

There are three parts to this Bible study:
Part 1Love Begins: 7 weeks (including the introduction week)
Part 2Loving God: 9 weeks
Part 3Living Love Out: 7 weeks

It is our suggestion that you take a break lasting one to two weeks in-between each part of the Bible study.  This will add 2-4 weeks to the length of your Bible study period.

What is the purpose of this study?

The theme of the study is leading young women to know Jesus as their First Love and to make Him the priority in every area of their lives.  The purpose of this study is to provide them with intentional, intensive discipleship.  The goal of doing a Bible study for such a long period of time is to develop quality, daily devotional time with God, build foundational doctrines, and promote personal application into their daily lives as followers of Christ.  We believe First Love will accomplish this in a way that relates to teenagers and young adults so that they “get it”.

What is the time commitment for students participating in this study?

Students will meet as a group, or individually, with a parent or another adult mentor once a week for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Each lesson in the Bible study has 5 days’ worth of journaling to be completed, on their own, during the week at home.  Each day has 1-4 pages to complete and can be done in about 10-20 minutes.  If you would like to, you can give rewards for completing each week’s lesson or any make-up lessons that they have done as a way to encourage your students in their studies.  This does not have to be anything big.  Many times students enjoy a pack of gum or candy.  Some leaders prefer not to give rewards so that students understand that their greatest reward is growing closer to God.  I like to give each of my students something small as an encouragement after finishing each part of the Bible study.  If I am working with a group, we try to do something fun together during the breaks in-between each part, so that they can grow closer together in a more relaxed setting.

What is the limit on the number of students per small group?

We believe that when you intentionally and intensively disciple teens or young adults that group activities, discussion, and application are best facilitated in a group of no more than 4-5 students. Any more than this and the group is too large and takes away from the personal feel of a small group.  In addition, you will have less time for each person to discuss and participate in the group.  We also highly recommend this Bible study for one-on-one discipleship with a student who is struggling with more sensitive issues.

What is the age range of students for this type of Bible study?  How do you decide who to invite to join?

This study was written for students ages 13 and older.  Because young women, especially teens, can be sensitive, selecting students to invite for a discipleship group may be difficult.  One suggestion is to begin with your oldest students in high school since they will be graduating out of the youth group the soonest.  If none of your older students express a desire to join, then go down by a grade, until you have all of your spots filled.  Incoming high school freshmen are a good age to form a group.  Participating in this Bible study is a great way to start off their high school years firmly grounded in how to live a Christ-centered life.  Eighth graders are acceptable to take through it, unless topics of a sexual nature have not been discussed very much with them at home. We do not recommend 6th or 7th graders because of the nature of the topics discussed, unless they have already been exposed to more serious life experiences.  College age students are an appropriate age for this Bible study as their teen years are not that far behind them and much of this information will be a helpful “refresher” as they begin to serve God in their adulthood. 
The adults who have participated in the First Love Bible study alongside students have expressed how much they have benefited from it personally. This is one reason why we believe this material would be a wonderful resource for a mother and daughter to study together.  It is a good idea to evaluate a potential student’s needs and/or desire for intensive discipleship before you invite her to participate in a First Love Bible study group.  Students who are mildly interested or completely uninterested will probably present a challenge to be discipled through this type of Bible study.  The students you invite to participate in this study need to be committed and have availability in their schedules to meet each week, and complete the daily journal assignments. A student with one extracurricular activity outside of school should do fine.  If a student has commitments every single night of the week, they are too busy to give the study the time and concentration needed.

Where and when should my group meet?

Choose a location according to your church’s policy on youth meetings.  It could be at your church or in someone’s home, but it does need to be in a place where students have the freedom to talk about tough topics and are free from interruptions.  Preferably, you should meet on a week night or Saturday morning or afternoon.  For some, Sunday evenings are an option.  Sunday mornings are not advisable because many times you will only have 45 min. to 1 hr. to cover material and discuss.  This is simply not enough time to have the depth of discussion necessary for intensive discipleship. Our pilot groups which have tried meeting for only 1 hour have been disappointed later that they did not have more time with their students.  We strongly advise you to have two female adult leaders per group for safety reasons regarding the nature of the topics discussed.

Describe the order of a typical meeting

Fellowship time and Opening Prayer:                                     10 min.
Group Activity:                                                                           20 min.
Group Discussion Questions:                                                  25 min.
Personal Application:                                                                25 min.
Closing Prayer:                                                                             5 min.
Any one-on-one time needed after group has dismissed:   25 min.  = Total Time: 2 hours

*Any of these times can be adjusted to fit your schedule.  For example, the group activities
can be left out and the discussion questions limited.

Should students watch the videos on the Healing Hearts website that correlate with each lesson during  group
meetings or at home by themselves? 

The videos recommended in the Bible study should be watched at home if possible. They are meant to enhance the material, not be integral to it. They help bring home the points being covered in the Bible study in an interesting way.

What audio-visual equipment might be needed? 

A desktop or laptop computer and TV or big-screen projector along with an internet connection is needed if you want to view the videos during your meeting.  It is our suggestion that you only play these at the end of your meeting if time is available.  You could play them at the beginning as an icebreaker or as a way for your students to gather, settle down, and get ready to begin the meeting. If your meeting is less than 2 hours, you will not have time to watch the videos in your meeting. The focus should always be on the application of God’s Word to your students’ lives.

Who or what do we endorse in this study?

The First Love Bible study holds to the integrity of God’s Word. We believe that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. (See 2 Peter 1:3)  It is by this truth that we share the gospel with others and equip the saints.  We have chosen to use various Bible translations throughout the study and do not ascribe to a particular version for study.  However, for richer meaning of the text, we believe a word-for-word translation is best.  Because the students using this material come from diverse backgrounds, we have tried to use versions that are reader-friendly, especially to non-believers and new believers.  Throughout the study, we quote various Christian authors and use various Christian ministries and organizations’ videos on our website.  After prayerful consideration, we have chosen to use specific quotes or videos that we believe uphold biblical truth and adhere to the integrity of God’s Word.  However, this is in no way meant to endorse any particular ministry or organization in its entirety.  Our goal has been to use God’s various blessings within the body of Christ to edify and equip the saints.