This guide will help the Bible Study Time leader to understand the interactive method used to guide the congregation in interpreting God's Word as it relates to the scriptures and theme for the week. It will describe the methods used for preparing the teacher to lead the session. It will also help the leader to guide the study itself and conclude in a way that will prepare the group for a worship experience leading to a commitment to God's will in regard to the scriptures studied.
1. Read “How to Use the Bible Study and Worship Guide”.
2. Read “How to Teach with Confidence and God’s Power” after you have read the following suggestions.
3. At least one week before you are scheduled to lead the Bible Study Time, obtain the your portion of the downloaded Guide along with any instructions or supplemental material needed. If others are included in what you will be doing, ensure that they, too, have ample time to prepare.
4. The Bible study forms the heart of the worship experience. The HCO writing teams work hard to ensure that even the least experienced Bible study leader will feel comfortable and secure guiding the group as they seek God’s guidance in the study. To help with that, the Bible study consists of two main portions.
First, you will find a thorough yet simple study for your own benefit as the teacher or guide called “Teacher Preparation”. Depending on the topic and scripture sources, it will be written in a verse by verse or passage by passage format. Either way, your writers have designed it to help you feel comfortable with your understanding of the passages by the time you will guide the group in studying those verses. At the end of the Teacher Preparation, you will find personal application ideas. Take those seriously. Unless the lesson is meaningful to you as a teacher, it will seldom bring about change in the group under your guidance.
Next, set aside the Teacher Preparation section and look at the Bible Study Plan. This section will guide you step-by-step as you actually teach the lesson. It is always written to encourage learning by group participation. Since you do not need to prepare a lecture, most teachers, even the most shy and inexperienced, soon feel comfortable and confident as they lead the group in studying God’s Word for the week.
Locate the page or pages at the end of the Bible Study Plan entitled “Youth!!! Take Ten”. Youth often need an opportunity to digest and apply the Bible study in their own way – without an adult attempting to make the lesson relevant for them. So, “Youth!!! Take Ten” allows your youth a few minutes to themselves to make that application.
The application time will briefly focus on a general understanding of what why the lesson is important for your group. Don’t attempt to make this time too much of a personal commitment for individuals. That is the responsibility of the Worship Time leader as he or she brings the church as a whole and each individual to commit to God’s will for the understanding each one has gained in the overall study and worship experience.
Finally, close in prayer or with the suggestion of the writer – preparing the group for God’s work in their hearts during the final minutes of worship.