Why You Should Never Teach a Bible Study

A Teacher Talks to His Students in a Classroom at Cathedral High School in New Ulm, Minnesota...photo © 1975 The U.S. National Archives | more info (via: Wylio)
As I vainly search for my camera’s charger, I figured I’d post a quick musing sans video.

You should never teach a Bible study.

Seriously, don’t do it. You’ll be ineffective and waste the time of your participants.

Where are we going with this? I recently read an article where a businessman reflected on a week where he, due to an injury to his vocal cords, spoke about 75% less than usual. He came away with five lessons and I’d like to share one with you since it has important implications on how we lead Bible study:

During my week of semi-silence, I found myself asking more questions than normal. They’re shorter than statements, and after posing a question you get to sit back and listen (or think). Questions, it turns out, are a powerful way to lead discussion.

Questions are indeed a powerful way to lead discussions. How much more lasting an effect will asking a group “Why did Moses include this narrative?” be than blandly telling them “Moses included this narrative to…” Questions require a group to be involved rather than passive. It makes them wrestle with a passage rather than have it spoon-fed to them. It ignites discussion rather than inspiring blank stares.

Don’t ever teach a Bible study. Lead a Bible study. With questions.

Here are a few to get you started in your planning:
“What is the main point the author is trying to make in this book?”
“How does this passage get us closer to that main point?”
“What are the specific points of emphasis the author hammers home? Why?”
“Does this passage help us understand God better? How?”
“Does this passage prescribe a lifestyle change for us? Why?”
“How does this passage relate to the cross?”


Further Reading: Why You Should Never Ask “What does this verse mean to you?”

Like what you just read?

Get each new Christ-centered:

...sent directly to your inbox for free!

Never any spam!

Or subscribe to the RSS feed.

2 thoughts on “Why You Should Never Teach a Bible Study

  1. Dave – Were you in the class USCGA Class of 2007 with my son Jim? I believe I met you down there. We are now in Maine. Enjoy reading your occasional post when it gets sent out to the Gospel Alliance New England network.
    Ted Freeman

    1. Ted,
      I was class of ’07. I have fond memories of spending time at your home skiing and attending church with your family one winter (I believe it was our 3/c year)! Are you still in VT?
      In Christ,

Comments are closed.