Preparing for Sunday School/Small Group Using the Inductive Bible Study Method, Part 1

Tuesday 22nd April, 2008

You want to give God and your class your best effort. You sit down to begin preparing early. You spend time in prayer seeking His presence and leadership. You ask Him to help you to teach your class in a way that would honor and glorify Him. Now what? Where should I begin? What resources should I gather around me? Is there a process that will help me prepare well?

One great method which helps teachers get immersed in a passage of scripture is called inductive Bible study. How will inductive Bible study help a teacher? An article entitled Why Inductive Bible Study? answers that question fairly well:

Inductive Bible study is learning how to exegete the Bible for all its worth with our best efforts. We do this through...tools and skills to help observe the text, dig out the meaning, and then apply it to their lives. Thus, inductive Bible Study enhances the exegesis process by enabling us to read the Bible for more impact, value and significance. In practice, we first examine the ideas and words of the text, then this leads us to the meanings and interpretations, and then we are led to the conclusions and applications.

The same article includes a list of ten "essential inductive questions" which I want to share here without commentary:

  • What does this passage say?
  • What does this passage mean?
  • What is God telling me?
  • How am I encouraged and strengthened?
  • Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
  • How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
  • What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my listening to God?
  • How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
  • What can I model and teach?
  • What does God want me to share with someone?

I would challenge you to write down these questions and their answers as you prepare your lessson. Seek God and an understanding of His Word. What was He saying back then? What is He saying today? The same article referenced above offers two Word documents to help you work through these questions (and more) as you study a passage of scripture (check them out/print them):

In Part 2 and Part 3, we will examine inductive Bible study further. In the meantime, prepare well by spending time with God in personal Bible study and prayer. Listen to Him. Pray. Ask good questions. Give God your best. Give your Bible study group your best. Be revolutionary!

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