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How to have effective Bible Studies

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

This blog explores a recent Youtube discussion we had with Brian Daily, who leads the Palouse Church of Christ. Brian shares advice for getting others into God's word with evangelistic personal Bible studies, navigating the first principles of God's word. By listening to the story of others and asking what they need from Jesus, Bible studies can have a life changing transformation.

Six principles for greater effectiveness

1. Power of Listening: Make a connection before sharing the gospel

When we're presenting the gospel to people, before we give them instructions, before we point them to scriptures, before we go through our Bible study, love that person. Hear their story. A lot of people sitting down for the first time have never really told their story to people and there might be things they need to get off their chest.

"a lot of times when I get together with somebody to study the Bible I just want to hear their story first. That helps me to love them" - Brian
2. Open hearts through love

Love the person you present the gospel to. Know them. Interact to find out what helps them respond. Pulling from the coaching or the teammate realm of sports, sometimes when you have a teammate there are certain teammates that just need encouragement and love. That's what they need to really do well. Some teammates want to hear the truth and hey want the realist perspective. As we're getting to know people and loving them we can understand how they best will respond. Look for an area to minister to in their story. If there's something that is really challenging that they're looking for guidance on then you have your opportunity. Meet them at their pain point and minister to their need.

3. What does this person need from Jesus?

What is your goal in leading a study? Do you give them the study you think they need, because you think they need it i na certain correct order? Or do you ask: what does this person need from Jesus today? If you think about it in each Bible study [whether it's if you're talking about the Word of Jesus today or if you're talking about the Bible study] there's scriptures that are helping get a point across about a teaching. Any scriptures that will help illuminate that point for that person based on what they need, those are the ones you want to go to. In the moment when you're leading a study you don't always know what to say. When you're not sure ask: what would Jesus say to this person right now? If you still don't know, you can just be honest about it and say you're not sure what to say on this topic right now.

4. Unlock the untamed power of the Bible

There's a quote that says the Bible is like a caged lion; It just needs to be let out of its cage. Oftentimes we try to explain away the Bible or almost apologize for what it says. Really it's like a lion; we just need to let it out of the cage. The word of God is what has power to give new life and transformation, so don't lock it up when reaching out to others.

5. Three Essential steps: Prepare, Pray, Preview

First, prepare for the Bible study. Look at what scriptures would be helpful for this person and have those prepared. It may be in a pre-made study or you might add a scripture to that study If you think it'd be helpful. Second, pray. Sometimes you're so busy going from one study to another and you need to rely on God for strength. Prayer is probably one of the most important things you could do to lead a Bible study. Pray for that person in the study. Third, preview the text.

6. The power of scripture:

If you get together with people and open up the scriptures God is going to do something. Something will happen. We keep reading this as a plan to our lives and something good will happen. When you live out the truth in faithful obedience, the Bible becomes self validating. It changes lives. Sports are huge, hobbies, self-help books, podcasts, but all these things are nothing in comparison. Nothing anchors, roots, and changes a life more than the Bible.

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