Don’t you just love a good book club? Maybe you have an incredible group that meets in real life in your town, or – like me – you have to rely on online book clubs to chat with other readers. I think our local library tried to have a meeting to see if people in our town would be interested in a book club, and no one showed up. I think we all have that fear, right? It’s the thought in the back of our head that no one will show up if we try to lead something. And if we do host a book club, and people do want to join us, it’s intimidating to think about how it will all work. How do we know what to talk about? Should there be food? How often do we meet?
Can I encourage you? Book clubs are about getting together with friends who love books and want to talk about the same one. That’s all. If you love hosting and hospitality is your gift, then by all means make snacks. If you have a free Tuesday morning every week and want to meet weekly, do that! If it takes you a year to get through a book because you only meet monthly, that’s ok too!
I have run plenty of book clubs before, and one of the most frustrating parts for me is trying to figure out discussion questions. It’s why it was so important for me to include questions in each chapter of “Holy Hustle” – questions that could be used for personal reflection OR in a group. As I was writing I kept thinking about a format that would make it so super easy for women to gather, to take the pressure off of at least one of the elements of a book club. I came up with a few ideas to help you get started!
5 simple ways to host a “Holy Hustle” book club:
- Ask just one friend to meet for coffee. Book clubs don’t need to be huge to be effective, and the message of “Holy Hustle” is perfect to go through with a girlfriend, just one-on-one. You can use the discussion questions to share your personal stories, encourage one another, and connect more deeply with a friend God puts on your heart. Meet for coffee so you don’t even need to clean your house!
- Do an email book club. If you don’t want busy schedules to keep you from meeting, consider hosting your book club via email! Invite some friends (they don’t even need to live near you!) and have one person send out that week or month’s recap and discussion questions. Then do a “reply all” to respond and share what God is doing!
- Invite a few friends to meet at your home. Maybe a traditional book club is your jam, then by all means invite some local friends to join you in your home to read and chat and fellowship. You can even take turns hosting, or give each woman a turn leading the chapter discussions. It’s a great way to connect new friends to one another and ignore the little voice in your head telling you that your home isn’t ___________ enough.
- Meet with friends on Skype. Some of my favorite book clubs that I’ve ever been a part of happened when my daughter was really young. I would go into my closet with my laptop after she went to bed and hop on Google Hangouts to chat with my sister and several other friends who also had little ones. We might not have had the energy or ability to meet in person frequently (and we didn’t all live near one another), but we didn’t let that stop us from connecting! If you’re looking for something a little more personal than an email book club, Skype, Hangouts, and Zoom are all great options!
- Ask your church if you can host a book study. This is happening at my church this fall (August 22nd at Grand Point Church for my local friends! Come join!) and I can’t wait. If your church hosts a regular Sunday or Wednesday class schedule, consider asking a friend or two to lead a “Holy Hustle” book study. There are plenty of opportunities to dig deep into Scripture as you read, and it could really encourage some of the women in your church who are looking for community, fellowship, and a place where their God given gifts can be affirmed and celebrated.
Q: What are your best book club hosting tips? Do you have a go-to recipe that you always make when you gather with friends? If you’ve never hosted a book club before but would like to, what’s been holding you back? Let’s chat!
Through July you can find “Holy Hustle” on a fantastic display at LifeWay stores across the country if you still need a copy! Or if you don’t have a LifeWay near you, Amazon (currently out of stock but more are coming!), Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Target are also great places to shop 🙂