Preparation for Small Group Bible Study

Monday 6th November, 2006

What is your attitude when you are preparing for a Bible study session? Is it one of unbelief that it is that time of the week again? Are you dreading the time, or are you just a procrastinator whose time has gotten away? Or perhaps your attitude is one of prayerful anticipation of what God is going to do this week? Is your attitude more about you, about the group, or about God? (This may be the most important question.)

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There are several important steps which can lead you toward great preparation and a great attitude. While the following is not intended to be an exhaustive list, it can be helpful. Consider the following:

  1. pray for God's leadership in knowing how the truth of this week's lesson intersects with the lives of people in your group; prayer continues through each of the following;
  2. read the upcoming scripture passage (not the commentary or Bible study materials) as soon after the previous Bible study session as possible to give the Holy Spirit time to speak to you and illustrate the truth throughout the week;
  3. read the scripture passage several times and in several different translations if you have them available (many are available online);
  4. before rushing to a commentary or Bible study materials, look for the truth in the passage needed most by the group;
  5. consider the passage background and setting, including surrounding passages, with the help of commentaries and other materials; consider what the passage says; look for the author's intent with his original audience;
  6. consider the meaning and application of the passage to people today;
  7. apply what the passage says and mean to your life; seek conviction of the truth on your life and commitment to respond obediently to the truth;
  8. having considered the personal application, begin looking for the difference this truth makes in the lives of the group;
  9. develop several critical questions which can lead the group to consider the significant issues; and
  10. consider which methods to use to lead the group to examine the truth and issues in best possible way.

I like a web training manual offered by Officers' Christian Fellowship.  There are many great suggestions about preparation and other issues which I would encourage you to check out. The manual can even be printed. One fresh suggestion for your preparation is offered to help you move toward obedience.  Here are the six SPACE A (acronym) questions:

  • Sin--Is there a sin to avoid?
  • Promise--Is there a promise to claim?
  • Attitude--Is there an attitude to change?
  • Command--Is there a command to obey?
  • Example--Is there an example to follow?
  • Attritute--Is there an attribute of God for praise?

Pray. Prepare for an encounter with God. Pray for life-change in you. Pray for life-change in the group. Pray that God will use you as a revolutionary!

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