How To Do An Inductive Bible Study

Last weekend at our men’s group meeting, one of the guys led an inductive Bible study on the first chapter of Colossians. It’s been a while since I’ve done an inductive Bible study, but this proved to be a simple and effective way to study the Bible.

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Perhaps this is another method you can use in your small group meetings.  While there may be many variations on how to lead an inductive Bible study, I’m going to outline how our short study was conducted.

  • First, the leader should choose what area of the Bible to explore.  This could be a chapter, a whole book, a character sketch or maybe a word study.  Decide how you will manage it for the time period allotted.  My friend chose to focus on the first chapter of Colossians, and our meeting lasts about 1.5 hours.
  • Go to a site on the internet where you can pull up scripture passages to print out. My friend Jeff used Biblegateway.com and he printed out copies for each group member.
  • Before the study begins, the leader asks the group to pause and seek God in prayer.  Ask Him to guide your thoughts and learning.  Ask Him to show you His wisdom through what you are studying.
  • Though the leader should refrain from the lecture teaching style, it’s good for the leader / facilitator to give an overview or introduction on the subject being studied.  In our group, Jeff gave us some of the backstory on Colossians before we started reading.
  • Next step—ask the group to take about 10 minutes and silently read the scriptures being studied.  Refrain from doing any marking or underlining.  Just read and reflect.
  • Now the leader will hand out highlighters and different colored pens to the group.  Ask them to take another 10 minutes and circle, underline, or highlight words, passages or ideas that stood out the most.
  • Then the leader asks each person to take a couple of minutes and share a few things that really spoke to them within the passages. Here is where the group leader can help spur on the conversation, by asking great, relevant followup questions.
  • Finally, the leader concludes with some summarizing remarks and leads the group in a closing prayer.

I really enjoyed this way of studying the Bible.  Not only did it help me focus on God’s word, but it allowed all of us group members to contribute to the lesson. A true model of “iron sharpening iron.” This method also helps encourage the element of discovery in Bible study. I’m convinced that people actively learn God’s word when they discover truths rather than just being told truths. I think they are more likely to take that newly discovered truth and incorporate it in their life.

How about you?  Have you ever been involved in an inductive Bible study?  If so, what other tips would you be willing to share?

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3 Responses to How To Do An Inductive Bible Study

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is Great Scott ! If more Sunday School Teachers used this method, then more people would contribute to the lesson instead of just a few who always speak up. Dad

  2. Duane A. Johnson says:

    This is Great Scott ! If more Sunday School Teachers used this method, then more people would contribute to the lesson instead of just a few who always speak up. Dad

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