The Effective Bible Study Teacher
By James Jackson
By the conclusion of this unit, you should be able to describe or demonstrate:
* How to set up a Bible Study
* How to involve people in your Bible Study
* Name different types of Bible Studies
* Understand procedures you should and shouldn’t do in a Bible Study
The Bible states in Matthew 4:19, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” We understand that in the natural aspect much preparation goes into preparing ourselves to go fishing. We must decide what type of fish we are fishing for, what type of bait we are going to use, and what type of fishing gear that we will use. If this type of preparation goes into the natural aspect, much more should be exerted in the spiritual!
In the spiritual aspect when we are preparing ourselves to become fishers of men, we must realize and understand the same principals of preparations applies in both the natural and the spiritual. Remember in Proverbs 1:30, “He that winneth souls is wise.” We must use wisdom in our approach in setting and teaching a bible study.
Activity #1 (5-10 minutes)
Take a moment to discuss with another student the way you would approach setting up a Bible Study.
II. How to set up a Bible Study
Once someone commits or expresses a desire to have a Home Bible study, a decision must be made where the Bible Study should be taught:
A. Deciding where to teach the Bible Study
When deciding on where the Bible Study should be taught you should allow the students to pick a place that will be comfortable for them. You should provide several options for the participants in deciding where the study can be taught. Here are various suggestions on where the study should be taught:
2. Your Home
3. Their Home
4. If feasible, your office (job) or theirs
It is to your advantage that they pick a place where they are comfortable. You must be flexible and be willing to teach anywhere, and this also includes your home!
B. Day and Time
After establishing the place where the study will be taught, your next step is setting the day and time. In establishing the date and time, leave this decision to the one you will be teaching. If it is a day and time they are comfortable with, you are just increasing the possibility of winning them to the Lord!
One key thing to remember in setting up the Bible Study is to let the participants feel like they have a part in establishing the teaching.
Activity #2 (5-10 minutes)
Students should take turns role-playing on each other, one being the person trying to set up the Bible Study and the other student being the one having the Bible Study set up. Follow the steps of location, time, and day.
III. Teaching the Bible Study itself
Crucial things that should take place in the bible study are oftentimes overlooked.
At the very beginning of the Bible Study make sure you are sitting in a place that gives the most advantage to you. You should be sitting in a place where everyone can see you and where you can see them and make eye contact. When you make eye contact throughout your study, it sends a message that you are very interested in their learning. There are several places you can choose to sit for your Bible Study.
1. The kitchen table (This is the best one)
2. The Living Room (make sure you set in a circular semicircle, so you can see everyone)
3. On the floor (Again make sure you are in some type of circle)
Make sure you set the chart up where everyone can see it. Depending on the size of your bible study, please make sure your chart is not too small where people are straining to see it.
At the beginning of the Bible Study, set your guidelines, so that everyone will be on the same page.
Here is a list of some common guidelines.
1. No fighting over God’s word.
2. Ask questions only pertaining to the particular lesson that is being taught.
3. No putting down anyone’s faith.
4. Prayer before and after each Bible Study.
Allow the students to get involved in your Bible Study, this makes them feel apart of the study.
1. One way to allow the students to participants of the Bible Study is to have a rotation, where everyone gets a chance to read a scripture during the Bible Study.
2. Another way to get your student involved is to ask simple questions during the Bible Study and compliment them when they answer the question correctly.
* Note, use a little wisdom when they don’t answer correctly.
* It will amaze you, to see how eager people are to be in a bible study when they feel like they are a part of the teaching.
Make sure the Bible Study is not a one way conversation with you doing all of the talking. You can’t have a superiority attitude that you know everything and they know nothing, this will definitely turn them off. Be humble in your teaching and let the word of God work.
Adjust your teaching style and method to the education level of the people you are teaching. You really won’t know this until after the first lesson.
The main key is that they understand what you are trying to teach them. You may only cover three scriptures because of their education level but as long as they understand those three scriptures the will of God will be done. You must move at the student’s pace, not yours!
F. Time Limit
Keep your Bible Study to 45 minutes to 1 hour at the maximum. Do not go over one hour in teaching a bible study, the human mind can only endure so much.
IV. Choosing the right Bible Study to teach.
There are several bible studies to choose from. IF you have mastered more than one Bible Study, then choose the one that will best fit the students you are teaching. You must make it a priority to master as many bible studies that you can. The reason why is because you can be flexible as the Spirit leads you to move from one bible study to the next.
Do not stick to one bible study, but master that and then go on to another. When you are teaching your bible study, understanding should be lighting up on the inside of the mind of the students. Two disciples made this statement after Jesus opened their understanding to the scriptures, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road,” (Luke 24:32). Something should burn in the student while you are teaching them the Word.
Our goal in teaching them the right bible study should be just like Jesus. According to Luke 24: 45, “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” We as teachers are to open the mind of the ones we are teaching to understand the scriptures.
A. Long Bible Studies
* Long Bible Studies are 10 to 12 weeks long and can sometimes be longer. It mostly depends on the pace of the student. Some long Bible Studies that can be taught are:
1. Search for Truth H (12 weeks long or longer)
2. Exploring God’s Word (12 weeks long or longer)
3. Understanding the End time (10 weeks long)
4. Abundant Life (12 weeks long)
These lessons can easily go on forever, you must use the principals talked about in lesson one. Read the material thoroughly and make an outline with information that you think is important, make sure you simplify the scriptures within the outline and make it easy to understand.
B. Short Bible Studies
A Short Bible Study is any bible study that is 1 hour to four weeks long. A word of caution, a short bible study should be followed up with a long bible study. Some short bible studies are:
1. Rightly Dividing the Word (2-day study)
2. Into His Marvelous Light (1 hour)
3. Bible Study in a Bag (1 hour)
4. The New Birth Experience (3 Lessons)
5. The Pentecostal Experience (1/2 hour study)
6. Salvation Made Simple (4-6 weeks)
The only drawback to some of the short bible studies is there is not enough substance to them. Again it is imperative to follow the short studies with a long one.
C. Building Your Own Bible Study
Sometimes the situation may be so unique that you need to put together your own bible study to teach someone.
Activity #3 (10-15 minutes)
Discuss among yourselves the success and failure of teaching Bible Studies and what type of studies you have taught.
V. The Dos and Don’ts of teaching Bible Studies
There are things that you should and should not do when teaching a Home Bible Study.
Some of the things you should do when teaching, or going to teach a Bible Study are:
1. Relax and be yourself, don’t try to be someone else
2. Do not overdress or underdress
3. Be prepared
4. Be a good listener
5. Involve the people in your Bible Study
6. Compliment when deemed necessary
7. Respect their home and their time
8. Control your kids, when they accompany you on a bible study
Some things that should not be done when teaching a bible study
1. Being rude to them in their home
2. Go over the set time limit
3. Cancel the bible study
4. Correct their kids
5. Turn off their T.V.
6. Ignore their kids if they are trying to participate
7. Argue over God’s Word
8. Betray their confidence
9. Put down their beliefs
Students will gather 4-5 people to go through the actual steps of setting up and teaching a Bible Study. During the actual practice Bible Study, you will get people involved by allowing them to read the scriptures and answering questions. You will also follow the list of Do’s and Don’ts. After the completion of the assignment, be ready to discuss in front of the class the outcome and results of what you learned through the assignment.
Additional Recommended Resources:
Scott A. Carley, Home Bible Study Workshop, Pentecostal Publishing House
This article “The Effective Bible Study Teacher” was taken from “Apostolic Training Institute International: Soul Winning” by James Jackson and may only be used for study and research purposes only.