Reach the Heart of Your Bible Student
1 Do you want your Bible student to act upon what he is learning? He must do so if he is to benefit from the knowledge he is gaining. In order to motivate your Bible student to action, you must reach his heart. On the day of Pentecost 33 C.E., the apostle Peter’s stimulating discourse “stabbed to the heart” about 3,000 persons, who “embraced his word heartily” and were baptized that day. (Acts 2:37, 41) How can you reach the heart of your Bible student?
2 Prepare Thoroughly: Do not try to cover so much material that little time is available to reason with the student on the information. Determine in advance the points that you will highlight, and be certain that you understand and can apply the scriptures effectively. Consider beforehand the questions that may arise in the student’s mind because of his background. If you are well acquainted with your student, this knowledge will help you to be prepared with information that will particularly fit him.
3 Imitate Jesus’ Method of Teaching: Jesus used illustrations to simplify difficult points and to help his students get the sense and feel the emotion of a situation. (Luke 10:29-37) Similarly, you can impress fine teachings on the heart of your Bible student by keeping your illustrations simple, taking them from the common things of life, and applying them specifically to the student’s circumstances.
4 Questions are especially helpful in reaching the hearts of Bible students, as Jesus often demonstrated. (Luke 10:36) But do not be satisfied if the student simply reads the answer from the book. Use leading questions to direct his mind to a conclusion that he may not have considered before. This process also helps the student to develop thinking ability. Ask viewpoint questions to find out what he personally believes on a matter. You may then discern areas where help is needed, and you can follow through with more specific assistance.
5 If a Bible student is not making progress, you need to draw him out as to the reasons. This may involve making a visit at a time other than the regular study period. Why is he hesitant to act? Is there some Scriptural point he does not understand? Is he reluctant to make certain adjustments in his way of life? If a Bible student is trying to ‘limp upon two different opinions,’ assist him to recognize the danger in doing so.—1 Ki. 18:21.
6 The apostle Paul realized that teaching Bible truths to interested persons is a lifesaving work, and so he counseled all Christians to ‘pay constant attention to their teaching.’ (1 Tim. 4:16) Those with whom you conduct Bible studies must take in more than just facts about the Bible and world events. They must gain accurate knowledge about Jehovah and Jesus and be helped to develop a warm personal relationship with them. Only by so doing will they be moved to demonstrate their faith by works. (Jas. 2:17, 21, 22) When the student’s heart is reached, he will be motivated to follow the course that will honor Jehovah and safeguard his own life.—Prov. 2:20-22.