Leading a Bible Study
The best way to prepare yourself for a study is to read the whole Bible passage several times, perhaps using different versions.
Try to establish what the main teaching of the passage is, then go through the passage verse by verse making sure you understand what you are reading.
If places are mentioned, find them on a map. If people are mentioned try to find how they fit historically, and within the narrative.
Last of all use these notes for your own study, answering the questions (don’t cheat!) adding ideas of your own. Make sure you can give chapter and verse covering any facts you want to add (people are bound to ask ‘where does it say that?’).
Usually you are encouraged to read the whole passage out loud when starting the study. This could be shared around the group, but be alert for any who might find it difficult.
During the study READ SLOWLY. You have the advantage of having spent time with the passage – others will need time to assimilate what you are saying.
Be alert to statements which could be controversial, and leave room for comment. Always be prepared to stop to allow someone to share a pertinent insight, or question.
Try to encourage discussion, but don’t let it wander too far off the subject. Ask other people’s opinion if a statement has been made and always encourage people to check everything against the Scriptures.
The emphasis should always be on individuals (that includes you!) discovering for themselves what God wants to reveal to them. Getting people to answer questions is an excellent way to encourage thought but don’t pressurise people.
If someone asks you a question, don’t be in a hurry to answer it yourself. Ask the rest of the group what they think. Often you will find that people anticipate something that you are about to cover so you may have to tell them to be patient (unless of course you can deal with it there and then).
Try to encourage those who are naturally reticent, and try to hold back those who always seem to have an answer (If they become a problem, take them to one side, thank them for their contributions, and explain that the questions are not there because you need answers, but rather to encourage the others to think. Get them on your side!). Of course, if everyone else is struggling it would be good to be able to ask them for their insight.
Watch out though, some questions are rhetorical, and some will be unanswerable!