Using Bible Study Discussion Guides


You purchased a discussion guide you thought would be good for your group. You know another small group leader who used it and said it was one of the best small group studies they ever did. Your group, however, just sat there staring at you offering little interaction. What they did share was short and shallow. You finished the sessions early.

What went wrong?

You relied on the questions in the curriculum alone which did not connect with your group. Perhaps your group did not have enough background knowledge or lacked experience with group discussion.

Do not rely on the study guide alone to produce a good discussion.One of your responsibilities as the facilitator is to keep the discussion moving with guiding questions.

You need to help participants to be CLEAR. Start with the question provided in the curriculum but then take it to the next step if group members do not further the discussion on their own. Ask questions like the following to get them thinking clear-ly.

Clarifying Questions

  • Could you explain what you mean by that?
  • Could you rephrase what you just said?

Listing Questions

  • Could you give an example?
  • Could you give us an illustration of that?

Extending Questions

  • What can you add to what has been said?
  • Do you have any more thoughts on that?

Analyzing Questions

  • What reasoning is behind your answer?
  • Do you know of any Scripture to back that up?

Re-directing Questions

  • What does somebody else think?