20 “Bible Dialogue” Questions

Here’s a way you and your group can study the Bible without using a Bible-study guide. I developed these questions (some of which I picked up from other places) several years ago.

Read a section of Scripture (a chapter, for instance) together as a group. Be creative. Read in the round (one verse or sentence at a time) or have group members read in parts. Then ask some general questions to get people dialoguing around the text. Move from “what did you get” questions to “what will you do” questions. Here are a few possibilities. You might use only one or two of these kinds of questions in a study! Remember that follow-up questions are the best questions.

  1. What jumped out at you in this passage?
  2. What’s going on here? Summarize what’s happening.
  3. What did you notice here, maybe for the first time?
  4. Who are the main characters in this passage?
  5. What’s your favorite verse in this passage? Why?
  6. What’s your least favorite verse in this passage? Why?
  7. What do you think God is trying to communicate overall in this passage?
  8. If we were writing a sermon with three main points from this passage, what would be our three points?
  9. What did you sense the Holy Spirit saying to you?
  10. What example do you see here that you can follow?
  11. What commands do you see here that you need to obey?
  12. What thoughts do you find here about God himself?
  13. What promise(s) do you see here for you to claim?
  14. What principles do you see here that you need to accept?
  15. What can we learn as a group from this passage?
  16. In what verse or section do you sense God speaking directly to you?
  17. How will this passage affect your relationships this next week?
  18. What changes do you feel like you need to make based on this passage?
  19. So what? What are you going to do based on reading this?
  20. What is one specific thing from this passage that you would pray back to God? How would you word that prayer?

Small Group Leader TIPS of the Week: Dec. 5-9, 2016

Here are the Small Group Leader TIPS for the last week as Tweeted, posted on our Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

This week’s TIPS focus on mission, making disciples, and Bible study.

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

Save

Save

Save

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week for June 6-10, 2016

Here are last week’s Small Group Leader TIPS as Tweeted, posted on our Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 6/6: Encourage mbrs of your community to spend time in solitude w/ God. Each practice makes the other stronger.

Tuesday, 6/7: Try different approaches to Bible study. e.g., Read various “I will” statements of God and discuss/apply.

Wednesday, 6/8: Try this: Study a “one another” pssg from the NT each week and find specific ways of doing each one.

Thursday, 6/9: Tell grp mbrs to find a Bible verse on a topic (i.e. ldrshp) and come to next mtg ready to discuss it.

Friday, 6/10: Ask this question: What can we learn/apply as a GROUP from this Bible passage?

Go ahead: Copy and paste these to tweet or post them to your followers!

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week for May 30 – June 3, 2016

Here are this past week’s Small Group Leader TIPS as Tweeted, posted on our Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 5/30: You CAN go deep AND be open to new ppl. Everything doesn’t have to happen during the meeting!

Tuesday, 5/31: Encourage daily Bible reading. If only time ppl open Bibles is at SG mtg, that’s not discipleship.

Wednesday, 6/1: Lead your family and group as if it’s your ministry calling, not a supplementary task. #mission #lead

Thursday, 6/2: Avoid leader frustration and burnout – Let God lead thru you. His power is unlimited. #stewardship

Friday, 6/3: After you ask a question, wait…not only on ppl to answer, but on the Holy Spirit to work. Isa. 40:31

Go ahead: Copy and paste these to tweet or post them to your followers!

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS here!

 

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: April 4-8, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Monday, 4/4: No, your faith is NOT a private matter! Go public. Invite others into this community life with God. #love
RT or ♥
LIKE on Facebook

Tuesday, 4/5:  Discuss: if a video of your group was set to “One Shining Moment,” what would be in the video?
RT or ♥
LIKE on Facebook

Wednesday, 4/6: Like a patron of a group of archeologists, your job is to facilitate discoveries of priceless treasures.
RT or ♥ 
LIKE on Facebook

Thursday, 4/7: Get equipped on conflict resolution and be ready to help mediate differences between group mbrs.
RT or ♥
LIKE on Facebook

Friday, 4/8: Identify a problem and have the group work together to solve it. #application
RT or ♥
LIKE on Facebook  

 

Read All Small Group Leadership TIPS!

 Follow @michaelcmack

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: December 28, 2015 – January 1, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Monday, 12/28: Make God, not yourselves, the main character as you study his Word. #BibleStudy
Tuesday, 12/29: Bible study = connecting God’s story to your stories. Don’t settle for either-or. #both-and #BibleStudy

 
Wednesday, 12/30: Commit with one another to mutual discipleship. Each person takes responsibility for one another.


Thursday, 12/31: Move group members from attending to participating to serving to sharing to leading. #discipleship
 
Friday, 1/1/2016: Set at least 3 God-given, God-sized goals for 2016. Then plan for how you will accomplish them.

All 2015 Small Group Leadership TIPS

__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the “Connect with Mike” box in the right column.

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: December 14-18, 2015

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *
Monday, 12/14: Pay attn and respond to ppl’s body language as well as verbal language. Study #kinesics. #facilitate

Tuesday, 12/15: Use your own body language to get ppl involved. Lean fwd, look at ppl, keep open posture… #facilitate

 
Wednesday, 12/16: #1 facilitating tip: Truly CARE about the ppl in the grp – their physical, emotional, spiritual needs.


Thursday, 12/17: Divide into same-gender subgroups of 2-4 for prayer, application, and ministry to 1 another. #community

Friday, 12/18: Keep God’s Word the foundation of every part of group life. Be comfortable with going to it often.

MORE SMALL GROUP LEADERSHIP TIPS 

All 9 Weeks of Small Group Leadership TIPS

__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the “Connect with Mike” box in the right column.

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

* * * * * * * *

Monday, 11/9: Don’t be selfie-obsessed. Resurrect compassion in your group. See vid by @craiggroeschel: http://ow.ly/UfidM 

Tuesday, 11/10: Focus your study on the Gospel-the death & resurrection of Jesus. It’s the #powertochangelives

Wednesday, 11/11: Ask group members where they see themselves spiritually and in other areas of life in 5 yrs. #2020vision

Thursday, 11/12: How you love others in the group is WAY more important than how you facilitate your study.

Friday, 11/13: Want to make a real impact on lives of grp mbrs? Focus an entire meeting on encouraging one another.

MORE SMALL GROUP LEADERSHIP TIPS

10/14-23/2015
10/26-30/2015
11/2-16/2015
__________
Follow Mike and Small Group Leadership on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks by clicking on the icons in the “Connect with Mike” box in the right column.

The Differences Between a Teacher and a Facilitator… And Why This Matters

GUEST POST by Rick Howerton, Discipleship & Small Group Specialist at LifeWay. Read Rick’s Blog.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Because the Bible is getting its rightful place in group life again, sometimes the term, “teacher,” is being used to describe the person leading the group’s Bible study time.

If you’ve been around the small group world long, you know that the term “facilitator” is used most often.

When considering the terminology being used, a few super important questions come to mind.

  1. Are we just splitting hairs if we are concerned with this?
  2. Will honing in on one term or the other affect the way we do Bible study?

These are great questions that need to be answered. But first … the differences between the two terms:

  • The term teacher describes someone espousing information while everyone else listens to them “teaching.” At least in the Western culture.
  • The term facilitator describes someone who is spearheading a conversation between those gathered.

 

  • The term teacher is most often used when a group is seated in rows looking at the person standing before them.
  • The term facilitator is most often used when a group is seated in circles looking into each other’s eyes.

 

  • The term teacher insinuates that the group is there to gain head knowledge.
  • The term facilitator intimates that the group is there to discuss the thoughts of the heart.

 

  • The term teacher declares that groups of any size, even groups of thousands, can hear the teaching.
  • The term facilitator asserts that only a group of 12 or less will effectively engage in a transformational conversational Bible study.

Using the right term for the experience you’re creating does make a difference for the following reasons:

  1. The person leading the Bible study will be confused concerning what they are to do if the wrong term is used.
  2. The person who is leading the Bible study time will be confused concerning what they’re ultimately trying to accomplish if the wrong term is used.
  3. The group members will be confused concerning their role during the Bible study time if the incorrect term is being used.
  4. The way the group leader prepares for the gathering will be misunderstood if the incorrect term is used.
  5. The people who are invited to join the group will be frustrated at the first gathering they attend and may bail if they thought they were coming to a conversational Bible study only to find out that they were actually coming to hear someone teach the Bible.

Please know that both teaching the Bible and facilitating a transformational conversational Bible study are effective means of learning Scripture. But, the terms we use really do make a difference.

MORE POSTS ON FACILITATING DISCUSSION

When to “Call” on Individuals in a Small Group Meeting
Dilbert on Facilitating Group Discussion
Top 10 Ways to Stifle Discussion in Your Small Group

What Small Groups Should Study and Direction from Above

I just read an interesting article by Eric Geiger at LifeWay. In essence, the article says that most small group leaders are given no direction in what their groups study. Read the article HERE.

Here’s my reply:

In some ways this is both bad news and good news. The bad news is that leaders and their groups definitely do need more support, equipping, and coaching than many churches provide. Some church leaders have the attitude of, “We have small groups that are meeting together, so discipleship must be taking place.” Not good.

But there’s some good news tucked away in there too. To borrow the illustration from the article, some pastors would not want an overarching group of leaders in the denomination headquarters telling them what to preach on Sundays. They might say that they know their people better than someone who has never spent time with them. They’d point to the principle of shepherding. In some ways, the same applies to small group leaders. Good, healthy leaders are primarily shepherds who know the sheep under their care, love them, invest in them, and prayerfully seek to lead them, as they follow the Great Shepherd. If these leaders have been well-equipped, church leaders should be able to trust them to shepherd their group members.

Note the IF. It’s essential. Shepherd leaders must be equipped, prayed for, loved, invested into, and coached. When they are, that’s good news for everyone involved!

One issue involved in this discussion is how we define leadership and oversight. Is the traditional top-down approach or a more decentralized, participative, bottom-up approach better?
I think this is an important topic, and it includes in it decisions about control, trust, the work of the Holy Spirit, vision, oversight, training, coaching, and more.
Please weigh in with your thoughts on this!

MORE ON THIS TOPIC:

What Every Small Group Leader Needs from their Small Group Pastor
You’re A Shepherd, But Not The Shepherd
What’s Your Definition of a Small Group Leader?
The Psalm of the No-Good Shepherd