Since marrying my husband just over two years ago, I have joined him in leading the youth ministry at our local church. I wanted our young ladies to connect deeper with one another and with the Word, and so about a year ago, I started hosting Bible studies specifically for them. We meet once a month for coffee and sweets and to catch up with one another, but also to dive deep into a topic that pertains to situations they might face or be facing.
Up until that point, I had never actually hosted a Bible study, but over the last year, I’ve come to develop a better understanding of the entire process. I made the below outline and presented it to our entire youth class to give them a resource to minister to others on their own. Our young people actually brought up some points I hadn’t considered, and so I’ve incorporated their thoughts below as well.
This is a very basic outline, but I think it might be helpful to those who are new to hosting Bible studies. I hope you can use it to bless someone in your life with the Word!
Know your audience.
- Are they completely new to the faith?
- They need to understand the basics before you dive in deep (oneness, Jesus dying on the cross, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, being baptized in Jesus’ name, etc.).
- Did they grow up in the church but have fallen away from the truth?
- They need a reminder of God’s grace and never-ending love (the prodigal son, Jonah, forgiveness, etc.).
Pick a topic.
- Ask them what they have questions about.
- Find one that relates to their current situation.
- Focus on one idea: don’t try to fit everything into one Bible study; it will be overwhelming.
Make Scripture the foundation.
- Find a story that fits your chosen topic.
- Find a handful of scriptures that speak to your theme.
- Take the time to interpret/explain the Word. Be sure they understand what it is saying.
List main points that you want to make.
- Write them down so that you don’t forget them.
- Back them up with Scripture, a testimony, sermon, etc.
- List them in an order that flows well and will be easy for your listener(s) to follow. If you jump from one idea to the next, you might lose your audience.
Get your audience involved.
- Ask them questions that require thought, not ones that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” (Why do you think Jonah didn’t adhere to God’s request? How many times do you think someone is worthy of forgiveness?)
- Have them read some of your scriptures. It’s important for them to see the scriptures for themselves.
- Ask if they have any questions. Try not to wait until the end to do this. Maybe do it a couple of times throughout the Bible study.
- Take into account how comfortable you are with your audience and how comfortable they are with you. If they’re family or a good friend, hosting the Bible study at your house is a good idea. If you’re just acquaintances, somewhere like a coffee shop is a good place.
- This might seem unnecessary, but people bond over food and drinks, so be sure they’re available at your Bible study location. Offer to pay for their coffee or a donut: it’s an incentive they’ll enjoy while you share the Word with them.
- Don’t get hung up on finishing your entire Bible study point for point. If the person you’re giving the Bible study to has questions or you spend most of your time talking about one specific point together, that’s alright. Don’t rush them to get to everything on your list.