Group Bible Study Needs to Be Real

Bill Craig

Group Bible studies tend to veer one of two ways, depending on the leader. Some leaders place emphasis on interaction to help people feel good about the group experience. Others focus on transferring knowledge to their students—primarily by relying on lecture or question and answer format.


But what kind of Bible study leads to transformation? It’s the kind that helps group members discover biblical truth, apply it to their lives, and develop spiritual habits. Here are four concepts that will strengthen the dynamic of your Bible study.

Relational groups are made up of people who share life together. They know each others’ names, discuss the deeper things of life, and pray for each other. In these types of relationships, honesty, openness and transparency can grow. Transformation happens when we relate to one another around the truths of God’s Word.

When people are becoming like Christ, they don’t just hear a lesson—they experience one. When we engage in Bible study using our senses, the truth of that Bible study lesson will stay with us. Sounds, tastes, images, smells—the vividness of life is part of the biblical record. Help your small group understand God’s Word by finding creative ways to engage the senses.

Transformation happens when we move from understanding what the Bible means to realizing what it means for us. When we discover how a biblical truth can be applied to a specific situation, we are one step closer to acting on God’s Word and allowing it to have its full effect on us. When we are able to speak the truth in love to one another, the Word of God is working in us.

A leader should remember that success is not found in how much content they convey. Success is a group of learners embracing God’s Word for themselves. A Bible study leader who fosters REAL Bible study will use different methods to help each learner engage the Bible.

Check out REAL Bible study curriculum from the Lifeway team with the B&H Marriage and Family Collection. Go to

Article courtesy of Bible Study Magazine published by Faithlife Corporation. Originally published in print, Vol. 3 No. 4