Preparing for and Conducting Home Bible Studies
1 Jesus instructed his followers to preach the good news and to “make disciples.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Conducting home Bible studies is a very effective means of making disciples. Since this important work is part of our worship, we should strive to do our very best when preparing for and conducting home Bible studies.
PREPARING FOR THE STUDY
2 Preparing to conduct a home Bible study involves more than just reading the lesson and looking up cited scriptures. To reach the heart of our Bible student, we need to present the material in a way that will motivate him.
3 First, we must have a clear understanding of the material ourselves. We need to know how all the scriptures apply to the paragraphs and to the Bible student. Underlining key words and phrases helps us to remember. We need to isolate the main ideas of the lesson and think about how to convey them to the student. Additionally, the student’s level of Scriptural knowledge, areas in which he has had problems accepting certain matters, where he needs to improve his Christian personality, and so forth, must be considered. We can ask: ‘How might the material and the scriptures in the lesson be used to help him make advancement?’ At times additional research may be necessary. There is a need to prepare carefully if the student truly is to benefit.
4 Prayer to Jehovah is an important part of preparation for a Bible study. Be specific in praying about the person and his needs. Ask Jehovah to help you reach his heart.—1 Cor. 3:6.
CONDUCTING THE STUDY
5 Assisting a person in making the truth his own requires effort on our part. Covering the study material simply in an academic way may help the person to take in knowledge, but does he believe what he is learning? Help the student to see how the material affects him personally and what he should do with what he has learned.—Col. 3:10.
6 Avoid the pitfall of allowing the discussion to drift onto subjects that are not directly related to the material being considered. These can be taken up after the study or at another time. It is also important to have the student answer in his own words rather than just read from the book. This will help you to determine whether he understands the material or not.
7 A good teacher emphasizes key points so that the student will not miss them. Jesus did this with thought-provoking questions that went to the heart of matters. (Matt. 16:13-16; 17:24-27) Questions not only help you to be sure the student understands but also reveal what is in his heart. Jesus also used simple, uncomplicated illustrations to help his listeners think about what he was saying.—Matt. 13:31-33; 24:32, 33.
8 Be sure to include the key scriptures in your review at the end of the study. Use questions that enable you to see how the student feels about what he has learned and that focus on how he can apply what he has learned. At the beginning of your next study, briefly review the main points again as needed.
9 We are training people to be servants of Jehovah. This is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. Can you improve the quality of your teaching on home Bible studies? We should do our very best when preparing for and conducting home Bible studies.—1 Tim. 4:15, 16.