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Bible Study for Small Group and Drill

Bible Study for Small Group and Drill

I.       Introduction

A.     The Bible is the Word of God (2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Pet 1:20f; Jn 5:39)

1.        It can help a person's sanctification (Jn 17:17; Eph 5:26; Jas 1:23; Heb 4:12);

2.        It provides food for the growth of the spiritual life     (1 Pet 2:2; Jer 15:16; Amos 8:11-13; Jn 6:63; 10:9f);

3.        It is the standard of Christian faith (Isa 8:20; Acts 17:2; Deut 17:18-20; 1 Cor 10:11);

4.        It is the weapon for spiritual warfare (Eph 6:17).

B.     Since the ancient times, saints have used various wisdom to store the Word of God in their hearts (Col 3:16):

1.        Teaching children while they were still innocent, and asking them to memorize and recite the Word of God (Deu 6:4-7; 2 Tim 3:15);

2.        Letting the youth listen and ask questions (Lk 2:42, 46);

3.        Till a person reaches adulthood so that the Word of God would never depart from the mouth and the teachings of the Lord never leave the heart (Josh 1:8; Deu 6:4-7). In addition, he would live a life of hearing, believing, doing, singing, preaching the Word of God (Ps 1:2; Josh 1:8; Rev 1:3; Jas 1:22f; Ezek 3:1; Tit 1:3).

4.        There are many ways to receive the Word of God. Sometimes we attend worship services, listening to the holy words (Isa 34:16; Neh 8:1-3; Lk 4:16). Sometimes we study the Bible alone, receiving the revelation ourselves (Dan 12:14; Josh 1:8; Gal 1:12, 16). Small group Bible study possesses both of the previous advantages (Lk 2:46). The Jews in Beroea accepted the Lord because of the small group Bible study under Paul's leadership (Acts 17:10-12).

II.    The Significance

Small group Bible study is for everyone to touch and feel the Word of God with their eyes, ears, mouth, hands, and heart. It allows every participant of the small group to savor the sweetness and power of God's Word. Through mutual encouragement from the members of the small group, it can improve individual Bible reading, edify and assist each other. Through the systematic progression of the small group, it can help to overcome an individual's tendency of dropping out. When everyone is participating in the small group Bible study, the members can reap the benefit of collective thoughts from sharing the teachings each has received. God's grace will be manifested ever more while everyone offers up "the five loaves of bread and the two fish." As the group shares with one another, relationships among the brethren will improve. Concerns toward the spiritual and physical needs from the perspective of the Truth can be performed simultaneously. This will allow the believers to grow more in unity and oneness of hearts, the holy work will become more lively, and God will work with the small group all the more.

III. Establishment

Bible study for small group is most stable, most lively, and most effective when it is established with Jesus as the center. Therefore, prayers become the most important factor in forming small group Bible study. Furthermore, because the leader for the small group Bible study can determine its success or failure, he or she must rely upon the guidance and encouragement from the Holy Spirit.

The most appropriate size of the Bible study group members is around ten. After selecting a group leader, a series of work will follow. For example: knowing the group members, target study methods, content, speed, dates, and location according to the needs of the group members. Every Bible study group has its own distinctive character based on different members, time, and location.

IV.  Principle of leading Bible Study for Small Group

Prayer is the most principle for a leader. A leader's thorough preparation should come naturally after the prayer. A reflection and organization of notes after the meeting can bring vitality to the Bible study for the small group.

V.     Drill

Theory is the stepping stone for actual practice. The purpose of making oneself familiar of the methods is to effectively carry out what one has learned. The following are some Bible study methods and choices for the drill:

A.     Study by the book or chapter of the Bible

B.     Study by a topic or theme

C.     Study by a character or an event

VI.  Prevention of becoming rigid and deteriorating

Every small Bible study group starts with the determination that can change the world. However, with passing of time, the study group often dwindles down to nothing. Therefore, a group leader should be alert at all times, detecting any area that needs improvement. Please review the following questions as reference:

A.     Did the group leader prepare sufficiently before the Bible study?

Without preparation, a Bible study can often turn into a meeting of chit-chat, gossips, guessing games, or simply of boredom.

B.     Is there anyone who especially like to show off?

If any of the members of the small group enjoys making long speeches, especially out of the subject, then Bible studies can become one's opportunities to show off one's opinions. Or, if someone in the group prefers to bring up new and strange theories to impress others, then Bible studies can turn to debate sessions or mind-twister competitions.

C.     Is the mood of the Bible study "stiff"?

The group leader should understand the level of each member, providing opportunities for each person to speak accordingly. Thus, the small group can ultimately achieve a mutual trust and encouragement so that everyone is able to share without hesitation.

D.     Avoid formation of sects which can cause much confusion.

VII.           Group Bible Study Guidelines

A.     The Importance of the Bible

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

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

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

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

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

B.     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.

1.        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.

2.        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).

3.        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.

4.        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.

5.        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.

C.     Purpose of  Studying the Bible

1.        To understand the words of God.

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

3.        To keep on the way of the truth.

D.     Formation of Bible Study Groups

1.        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.

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

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

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

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

E.     Guidelines for Group Leaders

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

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

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

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

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

 c.      Discussion (approx. 30 min.).

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

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

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

6.        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.

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

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

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

F.      Methods of Studying the Bible

1.        Sectional Bible study.

2.        Biblical character study.

3.        Biblical events study.

4.        Special Topics.

G.     Other Guidelines

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

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

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

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

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