Filtering Application

As a leader, it's up to you to choose which application from a text is best for your group.

One of the challenges of leading a Bible study is determining what needs to be taught from the passage of Scripture that has been chosen. Many pastor's sermons involve the use of two to three verses. Bible study leaders are often expected to teach on 18-20 verses in relatively the same amount of time. How do we do it? I have found this simple formula to be helpful to me in my own preparation:

  1. Read the selected passage of scripture in three or four translations.
  2. Make a list of all the things that can be learned from the passage.
  3. Using that list, draw a line through what has already been learned by those in your group. This will require the Bible study leader to be involved in the lives of the group members. These things can be learned by:
    1. Life observation
    2. Group parties
    3. Listening
    4. Group interaction
    Remember, people do not care about what you know until they know that you care.
  4. The result is a short list of what you can begin to focus on in that week's Bible study.
  5. What are my group members' greatest needs right now? What does God want me to focus on?

Let me illustrate …

Bible Study Lesson:

James 1:2 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;

8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.

10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.

11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

What can be learned from this passage?

Finding joy in my pain

Trials, Temptation & Testing

Faith & Trust in God

Spiritual growth & maturity

Contentment

Perseverance

Wisdom

Finding God's will

Double-minded

Doubts that shake my faith

Pride

Personal ambitions & priorities

The blessings of God

The promises of God

Relying on human knowledge & experience

Draw a line through what my group members' have learned recently?

x-Finding joy in my pain

x-Trials, Temptation & Testing

Faith & Trust in God

x-Spiritual growth & maturity

x-Contentment

Perseverance

Wisdom

x-Finding God's will

Double-minded

Doubts that shake my faith

Pride

x-Personal ambitions & priorities

x-The blessings of God

x-The promises of God

Relying on human knowledge & experience

What are my group members' greatest needs right now? What does God want me to focus on?

Faith & Trust in God

Relying on human knowledge & experience

Perseverance

Free Newsletter

Sign up for our Weekly newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.

Related

Advice for Young Leaders

Advice for Young Leaders

Matt Jewell is the Director of Groups at Rivers Crossing in Mason, OH
Recruiting Leaders for Digital Church Ministry?

Recruiting Leaders for Digital Church Ministry?

The Greatest Litmus Test: Walking like Jesus
Top 5 Small-Group Training for New Leaders

Top 5 Small-Group Training for New Leaders

Our recommendations for getting started
What Did I Get Myself Into?

What Did I Get Myself Into?

5 tips for when you start to panic about being a small-group leader
9 Tips for a Successful First Small-Group Meeting

9 Tips for a Successful First Small-Group Meeting

Easy tips to make the most of your first gathering