19+1 ways to lead a Bible Study


04/07/2013 by Chris Green

bible study methosIf your bible studies are feeling stuck in a rut because you always approach passages in the same kind of way, here are twenty ideas to try (well, nineteen plus the one you already use). They all aim at the same goal, of understanding the passage properly, but the tasks are a little bit different to make people think. I am sure I lifted this list by the way, so if you know where I took it from I am very happy to give the credit!

  1. Summarise the passage (can you tweet it?)
  2. Paraphrase the passage (using completely different words)
  3. Compare passages (use four different translations)
  4. Note a theme (get the coloured pencils out!)
  5. Organise ideas (post-it notes on a board)
  6. Contrast passages (find a passage that seems to challenge this one)
  7. Identify the points of view (who are the principal main characters – there are usually only 1, 2 or 3. What does the story look like from their perspective?)
  8. Interview (get someone inside the mind of the main character, and then put them in a press conference!)
  9. Sentence flow (break the passage into sensible units and lay it out to show the logical flow)
  10. Make a map (better than using the ones at the back of the Bible – draw your own and work it out)

11. Make a list (identify a sequence and find out how it fits together)

12. Make a table (like a spreadsheet, to show relationships and patterns)

13. Dramatise it (get different people to represent different characters, or repeated phrases)

14. Flow chart (and make the logical words the turing points – works well with epistles)

15. Plot (is it a cracking story? Then look at how the narrator has told it well to keep the tension)

16. One key question (can you find just one question that unlocks the whole passage)

17. Questions and answers (you do this anyway…)

18. Symbols (sometimes called the Swedish method – draw a light bulb for an insight, an arrow up for praise, a question mark for a problem, a bible for when you need a cross reference – you can make the symbols up and have people draw them on a copied sheet)

19. Silence (just sit quietly for ten minutes and keep reading the passage to see what you observe)

20. The new book (could you write the blurb for the dust-jacket to make someone want to read it?)

I am sure you could think of loads more – use the comments section to chip in

2 thoughts on “19+1 ways to lead a Bible Study

  1. Nick Jones says:

    We used number 8 our Bible Study on Romans 15:14-33 this week and it was great – really got people working hard at the passage – thanks!

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