Teaching a Bible Study: A Beginner’s Guide
Teaching a Bible Study: A Beginner’s Guide
by Jasmin M. Smith
Teaching a Bible study does not have to be a daunting endeavor. Sure, it requires a bit of boldness and obedience to follow the will of the Lord, and offer or agree to teach a Bible study to someone seeking more of God, but there are so many resources available at little or no cost, and you do not need to be a biblical scholar to utilize them.
When I taught my first Bible study, I believed that I was unqualified to do so. I truly felt that there had to be a better person for the task, and that I would surely mess up in some way. The young woman that had asked for the study was hungry for God and desired to draw closer to Him, and I didn’t want to deter her from that. I spoke to a couple of my church leaders and was sent a PDF of “Exploring God’s Word” as well as a DVD set of Bishop David Bernard teaching the 13-part study. I was ready to watch those videos and memorize the study one lesson at a time, thinking that I needed to know every detail of them so that I could basically preach.
I began where everyone should, in prayer. I simply asked God to use me, and to speak through me. I told Him my concerns and humbled myself as His vessel. As I read through the first lesson, it became apparent that these lessons were not meant to be memorized and “preached,” but to be studied and discussed at a pace determined by the participants. This is true with most home bible studies. Do not feel pressured to complete each one in one hour. Leave room for questions and conversations that build your relationship with the person you are teaching as well as their relationship with God.
You will not always have the answers and the same study can go a million different ways depending on the people studying it, and that’s ok. Be prayerful and intentional. If you do not know the answer to something that you are asked, it is ok to say you will study it a bit more yourself and then get back to them. I have found that people who are truly interested in knowing more about God and His Word are excited to discover things with you and grow alongside you as you study together.
This is not to discount the importance of preparation! We should be able to articulate what it is that we believe, and answer doctrine related questions confidently. No, that doesn’t mean you should not teach a Bible study if you have not memorized every “go-to” scripture, but you should know what the bible says in order to answer the standard challenge questions related to the Holy Ghost, baptism in Jesus name, Oneness, etc. You should also have taken the time to study the lesson yourself, be familiar with the key points and be able to make relevant and meaningful connections to the participant’s life. Your time spent in prayer is pivotal here! If you have prayed, taken the time to study, and are obedient to the Spirit; you will find that the Spirit will begin to speak through you and make connections that you could not make on your own that really minister to the Bible study participant.
When I am asked to teach a Bible study, I start by trying to gauge the participant’s goal. Once I have an idea of where they want to go with the study, I am better able to choose an appropriate study to do with them.
I personally use “Exploring God’s Word” quite often, because I feel it lends itself easily to deep conversations about the Word that reach far beyond the notes of the study itself, but also help to guide the study through the major points of the Bible. There are other great ones available though, especially when you are looking for a shorter studies to witness to someone who is unsure of their faith or to clarify foundational doctrine, such as “Into His Marvelous Light,” “The New Birth Experience,” and “The Gospel” all of which are available through Pentecostal Publishing House. (“Into His Marvelous Light” is also available as a free PDF download here: http://ptschurch.com/pdf/IHML_KJV_Interactive_PDF.pdf)
Your church may have tracts available as well as other materials that you may use as a reference or resource to help you get started with a study. If you aren’t sure where to start, begin in prayer, take time to study the Word for yourself, and speak to a leader in your church. Remember that in order to be truly Apostolic and call ourselves disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to act like the apostles and make disciples! A Bible study with a new convert, coworker, family member, friend, or even a stranger is a great first step to doing just that!