misconceptions get in our way in trying to understand who will
be effective in leading a small group Bible discussion.
Most of us tend to think those with strong, charismatic
personalities will be the most effective discussion leaders.
Actually these types often are the worst leaders, because
they tend to dominate discussions.
Others think that a good discussion leader must have an
in-depth knowledge of scripture to be effective.
Although we should constantly be getting better equipped
with God's Word, the person who is the "scholar" often
has the hardest time leading a discussion because others hesitate
to share their insights with such a knowledgeable person present.
The group will tend to always look to the answer man.
What then is the key to leading an effective discussion?
Two words - GOOD QUESTIONS!
No matter how old you happen to be as a Christian, you
can be effective in leading a Bible discussion if you learn to
ask good questions. The
uniqueness of a LifeGroup discussion is that the group learns
from each other. The
key to the group will be the leader's ability to draw people into
are you shy and timid? GREAT! Then you will probably let others
you definitely not a Bible scholar? SUPER! Then the other group
members will feel free to share their insights.
questions are the key.
are three types of questions that lead to effective Bible discussion:
questions answer the question, "What does it say?"
Discovery is simply looking at the scriptures to see what
they say. That sounds
simple enough, but it is often the one thing we neglect to do.
The key to discovery is looking at the passage with an open
questions are questions that can be answered directly from the passage.
Remember this, if you ask a question that cannot be answered
from the passage the group is studying, it is not a discovery question.
The purpose of the discovery question is to initiate discussion.
They will always be followed by other types of questions.
words for discovery questions:
Observe; see; discover; impress; what.
of Discovery Questions: What
are some of the exhortations Paul makes in these verses?
this passage, what new insights have your seen on prayer?
is Jesus described in this passage?
impressed you as you read this passage?
does this passage say about rejoicing?
questions launch discussions.
is the second step of Bible study.
Understanding answers the question "What does it mean?" and helps deepen your grasp of the Scripture being studied.
questions are the heart and soul of the Bible discussion.
They are based on a previous discovery.
Understanding questions should be stated briefly and clearly.
They should be questions that cannot be answered with "yes"
or "no" or a single pat answer.
words for understanding questions are: why; how; feel; think; mean;
respond; relate and differ. Examples and Types of Understanding
Questions: Synonym - What are some synonyms for anger that come
- In a sentence or two, what do you think peace really means?
- What do you think is the difference between joy and happiness?
- In what ways would you say that praise and thanksgiving are alike?
- What do you think is the opposite of faith?
- What do you think is the relationship between faith and love?
- What are some examples of serving that you have seen in every
- Why are trials so important?
- How would you explain the change of attitude that Paul had in this passage?
- How is conflicting counsel of any value to us?
is answering the question, "What does God want me to do?"
Since God is concerned with our attitudes and obedience more
than He is with our knowledge, application is the key part of Bible
discussion. As one
said, "Acquisition (of Bible knowledge) without application
is an abomination." Whenever
we come to the Bible our key question must be, "God, what do
you want me to apply from this passage?"
questions cover the bottom line of a Bible discussion and will almost
always come at the close of a study.
They should always require a specific personal response. Because most of us struggle with applying what we already know,
there should generally be only one application question per study.
Remember, to emphasize everything is to emphasize nothing.
words in application questions are: can; will; you; do; apply.
of Application Questions:
What can you do to allow the light of Jesus to shine in your
life this week?
what area of your life do you need Jesus to turn "the water
our study, what is God telling you to apply?
is something about which you have been anxious for which God is
telling you to pray?
are certain things that a leader must do in order to be effective.
Here are six "do's" for leading a group discussion.
attentively. Use your
eyes to look at a person.
glance off because he doesn't seem eager to respond.
observant of what people say and use their statements to formulate
other questions. It
was said that President Kennedy made you think that
he had nothing else to do except ask you questions and listen, with
extraordinary concentration to your answer.
You felt that for the time being he had blotted out both
the past and the future.
prepared to wait for an answer.
Waiting demonstrates your real interest and concern.
Give a person time to think. You may want to re-state the
question. Also be attentive
to second thoughts. Often
a person will think of more to say on an issue or be able to clarify
his position after he makes his first statement.
It is common for people to think of what they should have
said. If you sense
this, be alert enough to come back for more information.
"Do you have any more thoughts on that?" or "Would
you like to add anything else?"
all contributions. Never
refuse an answer or put
someone down for being "wrong."
the beginner or shy member by asking direct, simple
questions. Give special
encouragement to these persons.
Give everyone a chance, but never force.
Some people love
to talk, but others are reticent.
pauses. Minutes of
silence quite often are followed
by deep times of sharing.
on spiritual growth and action, not on just answering questions.
5. Be flexible.
While staying on the format and within the time schedule are important, don't let form override the moving of the Holy Spirit in your group.
to listen. Listening
to someone is one of the highest compliments that you can pay to them.