Tuesday Tips: How to Lead a Bible Study by Bertram Lim

Posted: January 18, 2012 in Tuesday Tips for Writers

Are you trying to muster up the courage to lead a Bible Study for the first time?

Has it been a while since you last led a group of people to studying the word of God?

Have you studied the Bible for some time now, but you are now led to study it regularly with a group?

Here are some tips that Mr. Bertram Lim wrote in his book Bible Study Guides Vol 1. Of course this isn’t a formula that you need to follow exactly the way it is, but this is just a guide you can use, and tweak according to the needs and level of the group you’re leading.

(adapted from Neighborhood Bible Studeies by M. Kunz and C, Schell)



1. Have the Bible portion read silently by the group. Then have it read aloud by paragraphs. The reading aloud should be done by paragraphs or thought unites and not verse by verse. Then discuss the questions regarding the paragraph. It is not necessary for everyone to read aloud, or for each person to read an equal amount.

2. Good Bible study leaders are not lecturers or preachers. They are more like shepherds who guide their flocks to green pastures to feed for themselves. So don’t talk too much as a leader. The discussions should move back and forth between members.

3. Encourage everyone to contribute to the discussion. Ask questions like, “What do the rest of you think?” or “Is there anything else that can be added?”

4. One of your basic responsibilities as a leader is to watch that this discussion is based on the text. If it is based on subjective opinion only, you could refer members back to the Bible by asking, “Where did you find that in our passage?”

5. Don’t be afraid of pauses or periods of silence. People need time to think through the meaning of the passage. Rephrase your questions if the pause is too long. Perhaps they do not understand what you are asking.

6. Watch quiet and shy members who, through their facial expression or by the way they sit, express that they have something to say. Give them a nod or call their name to encourage them to speak.

7. Discourage monopoly of the discussion by one or two talkative members by specifically  directing the questions to other members of the group.

8. Throughout the study seek to maintain an atmosphere of love and openness, expectancy to learn from God, and humility to learn from each other. At the end it is good to give a short, clear conclusion, summarizing the message of the passage and its relevance to the group.

MOST IMPORTANTLY: Prayer throughout

Do not presume upon God’s help, even though it is true that He is more eager than we that we understand His Word. Prayer opens up our lives to Him personally and directly. Prayer for our friends helps to bring divine wisdom in how to relate and communicate Jesus Christ to them.


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