How To Lead A Bible Study: Tips And Common Problems

If you’ve ever led a Bible study, you know that it can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But it could also be a lot of work if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks for making sure your next group session goes off without a hitch. Follow these guidelines on how to lead a Bible study:

Role As A Bible Study Leader

As a Bible study leader, you will find that your role shifts back and forth throughout the session from expert to cheerleader to lover to referee.

Bible Study Expert

Because you are the leader, group members will consider you an expert who guides them through the material. 

So be prepared and overly prepared to know the material better than any group member. Start the study early in the week and let its message brew throughout the week. 

Be prepared to share other gems your group members might not have discovered. 

Bible Study Cheerleader

Next, be prepared to be the cheerleader of the group. Your energy and enthusiasm for the task at hand can be contagious and encourage people to be more involved in their studies and group discussions.

Read Also: 250+ Hard Bible Trivia Questions And Answers

Bible Study Lover

Third, be a lover, someone who shows genuine interest in-group members. You are the one who creates the atmosphere of the group. 

If you laugh and have fun, the group members will laugh and have fun. If you hug, they will hug. When you care, they will. If you share, they will share. 

If you love, they will love. So pray daily to love the women God has placed in your group. Ask Him to show you how to love them with His love.

Bible Study Referee

Finally, as a leader, you must sometimes be the referee, ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to speak. 

This is easier when you assume that each group member has something worth contributing. So, trusting that the Lord taught each person during the week, act on that assumption.

How To Lead A Bible Study | Common Problems

You can anticipate specific problems in any group. Here are some common ones that can occur, along with helpful solutions:

Incomplete Lesson

Establish a policy that if someone hasn’t done the lesson, it’s best not to answer the questions. But try to include her answers to questions that ask for opinions or experiences. 

Everyone can share thoughts responding to a question like, “Think about what you know about both athletic and spiritual training, and then share what you think are the essential elements of godly training.”

The Gossip

The Bible clarifies that gossip is wrong, so you don’t want to allow it in your group. Set a high and strict standard by saying, “I’m not comfortable with this conversation,” or “We’re gossiping, ladies.

Wrong Answer

Never tell a group member that she gave a wrong answer, but at the same time, never let a wrong answer pass.

How To Lead A Bible Study | Tips

Introduce The Reason For The Study

The first step in leading a Bible study is to introduce the topic. You can achieve this by saying something like, “We’re going to spend today discussing John’s gospel.”

Introduce your reason for choosing this book as the theme of your study. This could be personal or based on what you think is important about this particular book of the Bible. 

If you’re leading a group discussion on John’s Gospel, say, “Today, we’ll look at how Jesus came into his identity as God’s Son through his baptism by John.”

Read Also: 25 Free Printable Bible Study Lessons With Questions And Answers

Gather Materials

When you think about leading a Bible study, it’s easy to imagine yourself standing in front of a group of people and talking about the text. 

But this isn’t always the best way to go about it. Instead, consider gathering materials that will help your group understand what they’re reading together.

The Bible

You can use any version of the Bible you want; it will work just as well as another translation.

If your church has different versions available, ensure everyone gets access to them so they can choose whichever speaks most directly to their needs or interests.

Study Guide

A good study guide should include questions for each section of Scripture, or at least a general overview, so people know where they are supposed to look first when looking through an unfamiliar passage. 

It also ought to be short enough because people don’t have time these days and because all kinds of things happen during Bible studies.

Divide The Participants Into Groups

If you have a large group, it may be important to break it down into smaller groups. 

If you lead a small Bible study with only five or six participants, they can work together as one group while the rest observe them and offer feedback. 

You may also want to separate men from women in your Bible study groups so that men do not feel like they have to be included in everything that happens at all times. 

Additionally, separating out different ages, such as teens versus adults, can help keep younger members engaged when older ones may be bored by certain parts of the lesson plan.

Explain The Rules Of The Game

Explain the Rules of the Game by giving examples of how to play the game, including how to win it.

Explain how you will keep score and ensure that everyone knows what they need to do to win or lose their turn.

Get People Talking

To succeed in leading a Bible study, you need to encourage everyone to share their thoughts on the topic. 

Ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer, such as “What do you think?” and “Do you have any other thoughts about this?”

Be prepared for people to say things that might not be what you want them to say. For example, A woman who was new in the group shared her story about how she had been diagnosed with cancer recently. 

The group members were supportive of her and asked how she felt about being treated by doctors who didn’t know much about alternative therapies like acupressure or acupuncture, and then went on from there. 

She hadn’t expected this kind of reaction from them; however, it helped her realize that her friends cared about her well-being.

Keep Tabs On Participants And Their Responses

It is vital to keep tabs on what’s happening in the group. Make sure to listen carefully and make eye contact with everyone, especially if you’re a leader or facilitator.

It can be hard to know where the conversation is going from one moment to another, so it’s important that you make sure everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with one another. 

If someone seems like they might monopolize the conversation or take control of it too much, try something like: 

“I’m interested in hearing more about other people’s words.” Or even better yet: “Tell me more about how this relates back home.” 

This way, no one has time for themselves because they’re always being asked questions by someone else.

You also want to keep an eye out for topics that might get heated, like politics, and avoid them altogether if possible.

Share Your Thoughts On What You’ve Heard

The next step is to ask participants to share their thoughts. If you’ve done a good job leading the Bible study and are confident in your leadership ability, then it might be time for them to take over and lead some of the questions. 

This can be challenging because it may feel like they’re taking over from you, but they must do so if they want the best out of this experience.

Ask Questions And Get Feedback From Your Participants

Once people have shared their thoughts on what they’ve heard or seen during their group discussion, ask them if any specific points need more attention or clarity. 

If so, try to focus on those areas in future discussions so as not to repeat yourself too much and avoid wasting everyone’s time.

This can also help with feedback from other members who haven’t attended every session; they will have an opportunity later on when talking about what happened at each meeting.


And there you have it! A simple yet effective way to lead great Bible studies. 

Now that you know how to start, what should be next for your group? It would be beneficial to follow up on all the guidelines written herein.

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