Your Bible Study Preparation Checklist

Red Pen and Checklist

You’ve been asked to lead a Bible study group.  Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned veteran, you can benefit from these ten tips.  Notice there are tips you will want to review before the group gathers, tips to consider during the Bible study session, and tips to remember after the Bible study session.

Before the group gathers: GET INTO THE STUDY

1.  Prepare as though God has an appointment with you. Even if no one else shows up for the Bible study, ask God, “What do You want me to know or discover about You by encountering You through Your Word?

  • Read the Scripture – Focal passage and background passage
  • Take notes – record questions and insights.

 2. Prepare as though God has an appointment with at least one person in the group. A divine appointment is when God positions you in the right place at the right time for Him to work and get the credit. Ask yourself, “Who is in charge of this session: me, or God?”

  • Anticipate questions, challenges, life situations, and surprises throughout the Bible study experience where you realize that God is at work.

3. The more prepared you are, the more flexible you can be.

  • Focus on the passage (focal and background Scripture); investigate people, places, and the context of the Scripture.
  • Overview “The Point” of the session.
  • Study commentaries (Leader Guide and Personal Study Guide) to examine the Scripture.
  • Overview supplementary resources to examine the Scripture.
    • Biblical Illustrator
    • Advanced Bible Commentary
    • Hershel Hobbs Commentary
  • Focus on people who have encountered this passage before; focus on people who have never heard the message of this passage; focus on people who need what is taught in the passage.
  • Overview the suggested teaching plan in the Leader Guide to help you plan to facilitate the Bible study experience.
  • Focus on the room arrangement and resources for the group experience.

During the Bible study session: STUDY THE BIBLE

4. Always have some kind of experience that helps people remember what is being taught. In Bible Studies for Life, the opening question and image can help with this. There are also additional options posted on the blog every week that incorporate movie clips, music, and current events. Consider:

  • Memory tools
  • Assignments to reinforce what is being taught
  • Participants anticipate engaging in ministry.

 5. Provide resources and learning aids for participants.

  • Bible (variety of translations)
  • Personal Study Guide
  • Supplementary resources including Leader Pack items

6. Show ways you value the learners.

  • Use name tags.
  • Call individuals by their name.
  • Use good eye contact.
  • Respect their abilities as well as their concerns.
  • Have meaningful conversations with individuals and with the group.

 7. Use a variety of Bible study experiences. Remember: different people learn in different ways. Mix it up a little! Illustrated lecture, Question and answer, discussion, and object lessons are all tools in your toolbox.  Engage all the senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, touching). The worst way to lead is the way you lead ALL THE TIME.

After the Bible study session: LIVE IT OUT

8. Ask, “What must I do to obey what God has said through His Word?”

  • Ask yourself this question – identify both short term actions and lifestyle or long term actions.
  • Ask participants this question – identify both short term actions and long term actions.
  • What are skills we need to develop or strengthen to apply what God leads us to do?
  • Look for opportunities where we can serve others outside our group.

 9. Ask, “Who needs what we are experiencing as we’ve engaged in Scripture?”

  • Invite Friends, Relatives, Associates, Neighbors.
  • Who are persons God is raising up as leaders for future groups or of future ministries?
  • How can we pass on to others what we are experiencing?

 10. Expect God to work – to bring a harvest.

  • Help your group be prepared to impact individuals.
    • Who are unsaved persons to be impacted by the ministry of your group?
    • Who are persons growing as followers of Christ through the ministry of your group?
  • Help your group plan to multiply leaders and ministries by starting new groups.

What are some strengths you bring as a Bible study leader you could model for others?  What are some things you will work on to be a stronger Bible study leader?

david appleDavid Apple teaches an ongoing Bible study group at the church where he serves in Springfield, TN and is an Adult Ministry Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, TN. 


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