How To Lead A Great Bible Discussion
1. BE THE EXPERT, THE CHEERLEADER, THE REFEREE, AND THE LOVE MACHINE.
Remember as the leader you are the expert, the cheerleader and the referee, and the Love Machine!
1 Peter 3:15: “Always be prepared to give an answer.”
As the leader make sure you have a great understanding of the topic as people expect you to be the expert (statements like “I don’t know… I haven’t really studied that…” subliminally ruins your credibility). In fact, as the LEADER, be over-prepared so that you know the material better than any group member does. You also want to be prepared for the well-informed visitor who may be looking for a chance to upstage you.
Romans 12:11: “Never be lacking in zeal.”
You have to have an incredible ice breaker!! Or several! People hate a preacher who takes himself too seriously in the wrong moments.
Ladies and gentlemen… tonight’s gonna be fun… now, I must warn you… sometimes I tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward… that’s just how I roll!!!
Just kidding… I do have a song tonight about tortillas… actually it’s more of a wrap lol!
Velcro… such a rip off!
Don’t you hate it when people answer their own questions? I do
Moses actually did have the first tablet that could connect to the cloud, lol!
You always have to be ready to be the group’s cheerleader. Your upbeat energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand can be contagious. It can also stimulate people to get more involved in their personal study as well as in the Bible discussion. Always be ready to fire people up with your joy, love, jokes, and wit. Never forget to share a nugget that even the seasoned disciple will cherish. This will win hearts and show your people that you are really in love with God’s word. That clever saying, that keen observation from studying the text, and even an appropriate joke, adds an element of fun and keeps Bible study from becoming routine, monotonous, and dry.
2 Timothy 4:2: “Correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.”
Support the quiet member. Clear the path for the quiet member by first watching for clues that he wants to speak. Then say… “Just a second. I think Chris wants to say something.” Then, of course, make him a hero!
THE ATTENTION SEEKER
Never let overly aggressive participants hijack your BT (they are attention seekers). Be assertive if need be so that several people are allowed to speak.
You can say:
“Sarah, you are making very valuable contributions. Let’s see if we can get some reactions from the others and then I’ll come back to you!”
Always have a designated sniper. This is the person who confronts the visitor that’s obviously trying to trip you up.
Visitor- “So are you saying everyone in this room is not saved by praying Jesus into their heart?”
Leader- “Great Question”… ”Let’s open it up” (make sure you choose a seasoned disciple.. a “SNIPER” who will silence their misdirection with a powerful scripture).
Pull the BT back to its intended focus and keep cranking.
THE LOVE MACHINE
1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
You always have to show genuine concern for the members and their friends. You have to be one big love machine! If you hug, they will hug. If you care, they will care. If you share, they will share. If you love, they will love. Reward correct answers with tons of positive public affirmation. You will be surprised at how saying … “Wow that was an amazing answer” will impact people.
2. HARDWORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT WON’T WORK HARD
Proverbs 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
Great Bible discussions take a lot of planning and diligent execution; they do not just magically happen. As a new Bible talk leader, we can underestimate this, and as an older leader, we can get lazy and not put the effort in.
Most visitors are deciding whether or not they will come back to the next discussion, come to church or study the Bible based on the quality of your Bible discussions. So, they need to be amazing.
Does that describe your Bible discussions?
Clever Tips for a Great Bible Discussion
Proverbs 14:23: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
1. Always have quick backup snacks in case the person bringing food is late or undisciplined. All true leaders anticipate victories, and defeat.
2. Food needs to be so good that visitors come back next week just for the food. Good food opens the unopen. Also, the food assignment should be handed out every 2 months and individuals texted the morning of the Bible talk to remind them of their responsibility.
3. Leaders need to already know what visitors are coming and be on top of it all week, having visitors themselves. A true leader tailors the discussion to meet the needs.
4. There should be a sign outside the house letting everyone know there is a Bible discussion tonight. If not possible, there should be a greeter there until the Bible talk starts.
5. Christians should arrive half an hour before the discussion starts to meet and fellowship with the visitors.
6. All the food should be cooked and ready to be prayed for at by agreed time, especially as professionals expect you to do what you say. They are judging your integrity.
7. The atmosphere needs to be excellent. Great lighting. Great food. Great Music, Great smell (light candles), layout of room (bathroom door labeled), designated greeter at the door, games.
8. The leader needs to let everyone know the discussion will start 5 minutes before it will to give people a chance to get Bibles and go to toilet.
9. Discussion should start promptly. Extra Bibles should be provided for non-Christians with no non-Christians sitting by themselves.
10. Every Christian needs to be keen to speak, read, share personally, smile, laugh, enjoy themselves, etc. You can send out the typed-up discussion 1 week beforehand to all the Christians to help them come up with answers to your questions, as some people find it hard to think on the spot. Alternatively. give them the opening question on Monday for a Thursday Bible Talk.
11. No church lingo should be used such as, “discipling, Devo, QT, D-Time” etc. Always use Bibles. Never let members use their phone for a BT discussion.
12. Music goes straight back on after discussion, and drinks should be offered to all by designated person.
13. Everyone sets up Bible studies with visitors. No Christians should run off! Do not be shy to do a study straight after the Bible discussion with an open person.
14. Have a Bible discussion name and Facebook page, get every visitor’s Facebook details and add them to that page. Your constant posting of great Bible talks will help them want to come back. Feed Facebook with “Good News.” We must use social media to the max!
3. HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN BIBLE DISCUSSION
Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Bottom line… you have to be creative!
Creativity = to invent, to come up with a new way of presenting ideas, concepts and useful things.
Creative people have a way of always keeping life interesting, innovative and invigorating.
Our Creator has given us creative energies and abilities that He wants us to use to help build His kingdom! Many non-Christians think Christians are boring and stuck in their worn out traditional ways of doing things. God gave Daniel extraordinary wisdom to be creative in the way that He overcame evil with good. God gave Daniel creative wisdom to choose vegetables over the royal food.
You have to be creative in putting out your Bible Talk like it is royal food!
It must make people want to talk. Choose a good topic and most of your work will be done for you. Use trending topics and ideas that will forever be embedded in someone’s mind when they leave.
Example: T.R.U.M.P (The Reality U Must Pray), HOMOSEXUALITY: “To be or not to be … that is the question,” GRACISM, TAKING A SELFIE THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD, CONNECTING TO WIFI (Jesus), SENDING KNEEMAILS (prayer), PUBLIC TRANSPORT (Loving one another), USING FILTERS (Shading the truth), PHOTOSHOP (Making yourself look better than reality), THE TRUTH ABOUT LYING, I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FAITH TO BE AN ATHIEST, THE ONE FEAR THAT TAKES AWAY ALL THE OTHERS, etc..
i. How can someone make a lot of money and yet still please God?
ii. What are the top 5 keys to a lasting relationship?
iii. How to be happy.
B. Make It Flow.
Choose at least 10 different scriptures. You might only use 1 to 2 on the actual night. Having 10 scriptures allows you to choose which ones you use on the night to be more relevant to the visitor. Also, the more scriptures you have, the more people get a chance to read & participate. (Hint, ask those who you think might not share to read the verses)
Tips on how to make it flow:
i. Start with a relevant opening question, e.g. “What is your name and what is your favorite color and why?”
ii. State the objective of the Bible talk: “Tonight we are going to discuss what effect the color of our skin and the place we live has on our lives and does it need to be that way.”
iii. After every scripture, have already written out 5 to 10 questions you can ask to make the conversation flow. They all need to start with either: what, why, when, where, who, or how.
iv. Wrapping it up: The objective of a Bible discussion is simply to get as many as possible talking, not getting through all your prepared scriptures. It is a DISCUSSION. Let people talk and talk and talk. When you are about 5 minutes from when you want to end (say you start at 8pm and want to finish at 8:45pm), let everyone know you are “coming in for a landing with this last scripture.” This gives those who may not have shared yet a chance to share or you can to ask them to share.
v. At the end, always invite everyone to study the Bible and come to Sunday church. Give them an invite and get their number
C. Actual Example.
Pick topic: In this case, how to be victorious. Look up all scriptures with words on victory.
Choose 10 of them and come up with 5 to 10 questions around each verse.
Opening question could be, what is an area of life most people find difficult to be successful in and why?
Psalm 149:4: “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.”
Proverbs 11:14: “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”
Proverbs 21:31: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
Proverbs 24:6: “Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
Psalm 108:13: “With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.”
Deuteronomy 20:4: “For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
1 John 5:4: “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
1 Corinthians 15: 50-58: “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
After each scripture have well prepared questions, such as:
Q: What is the meaning of this verse?
Q: How does this verse apply you our lives?
Q: Why do people not think this is a true statement?
Q: If people really believed what this verse said was true, how would it change their life?
Q: What does this verse tell us about how God feels?
Great Bible Discussions get the open visitors to come back and eventually get baptized!