“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you will abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. “- John 8: 31-32
Reading the Bible in a community setting is one of the best ways to grow as a Christian. Bible studies bring together people with unique backgrounds, perspectives, and issues in a safe and supportive environment.
Unfortunately, many people are not used to reading and may switch to lecture mode while studying the Bible instead of going deeply into the material. Here are five ways to make your Bible study more engaging.
1. Use the Socratic method
One of the best ways to involve others during Bible study is to make sure that everyone is involved in the learning process. If your study is in the form of a lecture and the only commitment of others is to take notes, the people who come to your study will not remember much.
For deep learning to happen, study members need to join the conversation. Organize your study so that everyone has an opportunity to share their thoughts, ask questions, and read aloud. This teaching format is known like the Socratic method, and this can dramatically increase learner engagement.
2. Study a theme
The Bible is full of stories that reveal the character of God. You can read it directly or study one book at a time. However, because the Bible is a literary work, it can also be studied from a literary point of view.
Sometimes changing your approach can increase engagement as members see how the scriptures apply to them personally. Try to study a single word, concept, or theme that ranges from the Old to the New Testament. You can also dive deep into the story to give a single book perspective.
3. Add another activity
While the purpose of a Bible study is to study the Bible, you can combine this with another activity for a long night of fellowship and fun. Plan a game night, a group hike or potluck, and incorporate Bible study into part of the event.
Time spent in nature and with the community can teach you a lot about the character of God. In Psalm 65: 8 King David addressed this when he said: “Those who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of your signs; You make the sunrise and the sunset cry for joy.
The word of God should always be treated with respect, but it is also full of stories about the messy side of life. Combining your study with a fun community event can help members make the connection between spirituality and its impact on daily life.
4. Respond to art
For centuries, artists have depicted key scenes from the Bible that show their perception of Biblical figures, the nature of God, and the human condition. Associating artwork with your Bible study can help members question their perception of what they are reading and gain more from a specific passage.
Have members spend time looking at the art you choose and writing down what they see. Then, read the relevant Bible passages together and talk about their differences and similarities. What is different culturally? What details are included in the text that are not in the illustration, and vice versa? Does art communicate the same message as text?
5. Let someone else lead
To mix things up even more, consider letting someone else lead. You could even take turns leading and learning from each other. When someone is to lead a Bible study, they are more likely to spend time reading the text, asking questions, and learning in depth.
Letting someone else lead is also a good reminder that the outcome of your Bible study is not up to you. Your loyalty matters, but members must seek God in their own lives to experience growth, which ultimately comes from the relationship with Him.
In John 14:26, Jesus says to his disciples: “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and remind you of all that I have said to you.” Coming together to study the Word of God is an invitation to the Holy Spirit to act.
Bend over together
Spending time in the Word of God allows the Holy Spirit to speak to you, reminding all who come of God’s character, His goodness, and His closeness. Group Bible studies can also inspire members to consider new perspectives and recognize areas in which they need to grow.
Use these five tips to involve members in your Bible study and encourage them to deepen their relationship with the God who loves them.