3 Tips for Leading a Successful Bible Study

Leading a Bible study isn’t always easy! Sometimes you get frustrated because the conversation is staying surface-level. You might find yourself with dull discussion or a lack of sharing. It’s not because God’s Word is boring–God’s Word is incredibly vibrant and rich, so why doesn’t Bible study seem that way?
It could be due to simply human flaws that we have a hard time connecting with God and one another, but it’s nothing to stress over! We collected the top 3 Bible study leading tips from our staff, and we think this can apply to your roles as a community leader, pastor, parent, spouse, and more! So even if you don’t lead a Bible study, read on! You’ll find new and exciting ways to connect with those around you.
Whether it’s your first time leading a Bible study or you’re a veteran at guiding people through the Scriptures, we hope you find these tips helpful!

3 Tips for Leading a Successful Bible Study

1. Be Vulnerable

Tired of surface level conversation? I think we have your solution here: “The group won’t feel comfortable sharing openly if you as the leader don’t share something a little bit deeper,” shares Gretchen. “You should go first during sharing time.” Seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of leaders focus so much on the material they forget that leading has a social aspect to it as well.

2. Practice Acceptance

“When people share, accept them where they are. Allow them to express themselves without correcting them,” adds Gretchen. “Listening isn’t the same as approving. Although there are exceptions to this guideline, for most situations, you don’t need to confront them or contradict them during the Bible study. Instead pray for them. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in their life at the right time (not your timing).”*
* Of course, the most obvious exception is if the person shared something involving very bad behavior (criminal activity injuring others). Then you have an obligation to inform the authorities.

3. It’s All About Relationship

“I think I’m going to have to say to remember that relationships are the most important part of Bible Study,” says Ben. It’s not just your relationships with your group members either… “If studying the Bible does not lead us to a better relationship with God and each other (and, arguably, with those outside the Bible Study), then I wouldn’t consider that a successful Bible study.”
Don’t be afraid to start your Bible study with a quick how-are-you. A game called “Roses, Thorns, and Buds” is a great ice breaker to catch everyone up with. Have everyone share a rose (highlight), thorn (low point), or bud (thing they’re looking forward to or excited about) from their week. Like Gretchen suggested in tip #1, if you’re the leader, go first!

Other Tips

“Food. Now that I have your attention, I think having snacks at gatherings helps a lot,” adds Rachel. “There’s something special about breaking bread together. Jesus and the disciples regularly had meals as a group.” When you’re building relationships, dining or snacking together can be a great thing to do while sharing. It’s a casual activity that everyone can participate in and you can even invite your Bible study group to share their favorite snacks. Depending on the group, a bag of chips or pretzels will sometimes do. For a healthy alternative, consider a veggie platter!

What Tips Would You Recommend?

Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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This “How to Study the Bible” eChart gives the four basic steps to study the Bible, using the inductive method. Whether you have studied the Bible for many years or are new to it, this helpful chart teaches you how to read Scripture in a deeper way. This one-page, step-by-step guide provides an easy-to-follow plan to help you enjoy your time reading God’s Word. Download and print out for your friends.

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One Thought on “3 Tips for Leading a Successful Bible Study

  1. I like your suggestion to focus on relationships so the bible study results in getting closer to God and each other. I’m currently looking for the right Bible translation so I can start a small study group on Wednesday nights. Thanks for teaching me what to prioritize to makes sure the Bible study sessions are effective!

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