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Group Bible Study Guidelines

Group Bible Study Guidelines

I.       The Importance of the Bible

A.     The Bible is the word of God (II Tim 3:16; II Pet 1:20-21).

B.     The bread of spiritual life (I Pet 2:2; Jer 15:16, Amos 8:11-13; Is 55:1-2).

C.     Guides the way to eternal life (Jn 5:39, 46; II Tim 3:15-16; Is 8:20).

D.     Guidelines for our way of life (Ps 119:9, 15; I Cor 10:11; Jam 1:2-3; Heb 4:12).

E.     The weapons of war (Eph 6:17; Rev 12:11; Rom 15:4; Gal 4:4,7,10).

II.    Procedure of Reading the Bible

To understand the will of God, we must read the Bible.  Reading the Bible is the best way to study the words of God.  Believers should have the habit of reading the Bible daily, to absorb the spiritual food, and to stimulate spiritual growth.

A.     Set aside time to study the Bible everyday.  We can also invite other brothers and sisters or our family members to study the Bible with us.  

B.     Pray to the Lord before proceeding to read the Bible.  Ask God for His guidance and wisdom that we may understand His words. (Jn 16:13; I Cor 2:10).

C.     Beginner of Bible reading can start by reading Matthew in the New Testament.  Start reading the Old Testament after completing the New Testament.  If we read three chapters daily, we can complete reading the Bible in one year.  Select special scriptures for further studies.

D.     While reading the Bible, take note of the repetition of words or phrases, events concerning God’s deeds, promises, and commands, the cause and effect of sin, important characters, miracles and the teachings it brings.

E.     Use high-liter to mark down the main points.  Keep a journal of daily reading, writing down a favorite verse or difficulties encountered while reading.  Share your opinion with other brothers and sisters.  Inquire pastors and other holy workers about questions concerning the Bible.

III. Purpose of  Studying the Bible

A.     To understand the words of God.

B.     To understand the theme and views of the Bible.

C.     To keep on the way of the truth.

IV.  Formation of Bible Study Groups

A.     One can study the Bible individually, but can be easily distracted.  If we study in groups, we can obtain encouragement from others increasing its effect.

B.     Groups range from five to fifteen members, with ten members being ideal.

C.     Set up time and a place for study for the convenience of the group members.

D.     Elect a leader for the group to gather members and to appoint other officers.

E.     Content and style of the study may vary for each group, depending on needs.

V.     Guidelines for Group Leaders

A.     Group leaders should arrive at the place of study early to prepare the place and to pray in preparation.

B.     Control the time accordingly.  Studies lasting one hour are ideal.

C.     Set up an agenda for study, an ideal agenda will consist of:

1.        Hymn singing and prayer (approx. 10 min.).

2.        Reading the scripture out loud, the host should state the main points and explain the meaning (approx. 10 min.).

3.        Discussion (approx. 30 min.).

4.        Conclusion by the host; hymn singing, and prayer.

D.     Before studying the Bible, read the scripture thoroughly and pray.  The host should be fully prepared.

E.     The host should briefly introduce the topic to give sufficient time for members to discuss the topic.

F.      When the opinions of members are not in accordance with the Bible, it is improper to rebuke them making the situation awkward.  Instead, refer to the Bible for correction.

G.     The host should make a conclusion according to the opinions expressed in the discussion, and include a teaching to be learned.

H.    The host should monitor the discussion to make certain that the discussion is in agreement with the topic.

I.       After the discussion, examine the attendance, and the discussion.  Notice any flaws and make improvement.

VI.  Methods of Studying the Bible

A.     Sectional Bible study.

B.     Biblical character study.

C.     Biblical events study.

D.     Special Topics.

VII.           Other Guidelines

A.     The place of study should not be over-crowded.  Seats should be arranged for ease of discussion.

B.     Interpret the Bible with the words of the Bible.  Do not interpret the Bible according to one’s own opinion.

C.     Speak with humility and kindness.  Do not speak to rebuke others.

D.     Do not argue over the truth with one’s own opinion.

E.     Encourage members to participate in the discussion but do not force them.