The Word of God is a precious gift we have been given to read, treasure, and “hide in our heart.” For those of us that have been given the great burden of teaching the Bible on a regular basis, it is important to have a system for how we will accomplish that. The following is for Bible study leaders and is the way I prepare to write/teach a Bible study lesson. This is not how I prepare an actual sermon but yet a small group Bible study. It’s also not the way but yet a way. I hope this encourages you and gives you helpful, practical ideas on how to teach the greatest book ever written.
1. Introduce It.
- Begin the Bible study with some sort of creative component that can tie in with the bottom line or the Scripture text itself. This can be a game, a personal life story, an activity, or so on.
- The point here is to be creative and to not begin the Bible study with, “Open your Bibles to…”
- Don’t spend too much time on this section but enough time that you connect with your audience. This will build credibility and keep your audience engaged.
2. Bottom Line It.
- Find the central theological truth in the text and build your entire Bible study around it. Write it down, analyze it, and pray over it.
- Your audience will have a hard time remembering every little thing you teach. Therefore, it is crucial to leave them with one central truth that is short, catchy, and biblically sound.
3. Study It.
- Next, you want to dig deeper into the text. You can do this by writing down any questions, confusing ideas, or interesting thoughts you may have about the passage.
- Write out biblical principles, commands, and encouragements for believers from the passage. Also, write out what it specifically teaches you about the nature and characteristic of God.
- It is also very important to place the text you are studying in context. Consider such questions as …what was recorded in the previous verses and the verses that follow your particular text? What was the writer of the text trying to convey to that audience? Answering these questions will help you understand better the text you are studying.
4. Apply It.
- Bringing personal application to the text is just as important as finding the theological truth(s) of the passage. We must know how to live out Scripture in our everyday life if it is going to make any difference at all.
- Write down one thing you can encourage your audience to work on the following week based off of what you have just learned.
- Write down personal prayers or prayer concerns for others that come to mind as you study the text. Pray over these the following week as well.
5. Conclude It.
- This would be a great point to reiterate your bottom line. This again is the main theological truth you want your audience to walk away with.
- End with any closing challenges and thoughts you have. You may also want to introduce the next Bible study lesson if applicable.