Conduct Progressive Bible Studies
1 Conducting a Bible study is one of the most satisfying aspects of our Christian ministry. It is a matter of writing on hearts. (2 Cor. 3:2, 3) How rewarding it is to see people with whom we study take in knowledge, apply Bible principles and bring their lives into harmony with Jehovah’s righteous requirements!
2 But, suppose you do not see the desired progress—the students do not make changes as quickly as you think they should and their interest may even wander. There may be a need to examine your own ability to teach. Could the study be conducted in a more interesting and progressive manner? The following suggestions may prove to be helpful.
PRACTICAL TEACHING SUGGESTIONS
3 Preparation in advance is essential. Involved in this is having the main points of the lesson clearly outlined in your own mind with the Scriptural support at your fingertips.
4 Knowledge should be conveyed to the student in a simple, logical manner. If this is done in a warm, friendly and informal way, it creates an atmosphere in which the student is relaxed and able to learn. It is important, too, to make sure he learns practical points of personal value each visit. A student should feel that his life has been enriched and that he has been brought into a closer relationship with God.
5 Teaching the student how to study may be helpful. This may involve helping him to pick out the main points in the material and underline key words or phrases. Help him express himself from the heart, putting answers in his own words, rather than just reading the printed material. If you build up in your student a desire for more knowledge of the subject to be discussed on the next visit, he will be more likely to prepare in advance and thus make more rapid progress.
6 Reaching the heart of the individual will enable him to see how the material studied applies to his own life. To reach hearts Jesus used questions that made his listeners think. Note examples of this at Matthew 16:13-16; 17:24-27 and Luke 10:25-27. Wise use of illustrations, as demonstrated by Jesus, is also most beneficial. Observe how illustrations can make a point very clear.—See You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, page 36, paragraph 5.
7 Sometimes a factor that can block the progress of a Bible student is opposition. (2 Tim. 3:12) Often this comes from members of his own family or his work associates. It is vital that you prepare the student for such persecution. Show him that this was prophesied to happen. (Matt. 10:34-39; Luke 21:16-19) Help him to have the right attitude toward his persecutors. (Matt. 5:43-48; Rom. 12:17) If the persecution continues, help him to endure by pointing out Scriptural examples of those who have endured.—Job 1:20-22; Prov. 27:11.
8 Before you can conduct a progressive study, you need to find someone who wants to study. If you are not presently conducting a Bible study, why not talk with those who are and learn from them how to start one. You might go along on a study to see how the publisher conducts it. This may aid you in conducting a study in a progressive manner, using good teaching methods. Go to Jehovah in prayer, ask him for assistance in starting a study and then follow through in harmony with your prayers. Follow up all the interest you find. Some in the congregation who are particularly adept at starting studies may wish to help by turning some of their studies over to others. Very likely with our new Live Forever book, which we will begin placing with the public next month, many studies can be started. If we make practical use of the suggestions given here, those with whom we study may make rapid progress toward serving Jehovah.