HGLT 5: Home Group Bible Study

Christians have been meeting together in small groups to study the Bible for more than two millennia. As they have done so, countless numbers have found their faith awakened, their lives transformed and their relationship with God and one another wonderfully deepened. Truly, this inspired record of God’s dealings with us from the birth of creation to the birth of the church is ‘living’ and ‘active.’ (Heb 4:12)

Yet, for many in our wider culture, today, the Bible has come to be regarded as just another ancient religious text – one amongst many – whose provenance and relevance for contemporary life increasingly questioned. As a home group leader, therefore, another of the great joys you will have is in helping people realise just how mistaken such a view actually is. Far from being outdated or irrelevant, within the Bible’s account of the story of creation, Israel, Jesus and the early church, we find the answers to all the most vital questions we will ever ask. Here we discover the truth about the God who made us, ourselves, and one another. Here we find the wonder of our Creator’s view of our lives, of our past, our present and our future. Here we have the record of our Saviour’s life and his work of redemption; of the coming of the Spirit and the first years of the church; Here are all the guiding principles we will ever need whether dealing with our relationships or politics; conflicts or finances; human rights, sexuality or bio-ethics. Whilst most of us take some time to realise it, what we find in the pages of Scripture is nothing less than the greatest resource we will ever have in seeking to live our lives to their full God-given significance and purpose.

Studying this book in our Home Groups, therefore, is not only a privilege; it is one of the most exciting ventures we will ever undertake. God has revealed himself to our world and within these sixty-six books we now call the Holy Scriptures we are able to read and to study the record of that revelation. The more we understand this book the more we will understand the God who has made us. The more we understand Him, the more we will understand ourselves and the freer, healthier, and more fulfilled our lives will be enabled to become.

As the Westminster Confession of Faith puts it so well, the books of the Bible

“are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life (see Luke 16.29,31; Eph 2.20; Rev 22.18-19; 2 Timothy 3.16)” (W.C. Chapter 1, Paragraph I) “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men (see Tim 3.15-17; Gal 1.8-9; 2 Thess 2.2).” (W.C. Chapter 1, Paragraph VI)

It is this inspired Word that we get to read and study together in our Home Group journeys and it is often this element of our meeting that most deeply impacts the lives of those who come along. Roberta Hestenes is undoubtedly correct when she says that:

“in a wide variety of settings and circumstances, from sanctuary to sitting room, in catacombs and gulags, Bible study in groups has [always] been a major ingredient in the spread and vitality of the Christian faith.” (Roberta Hestenes, Using the Bible in Groups, page 9)

In this chapter, then, we shall examine how your Home Group members can discover the power of this wonderful resource for themselves.

What To Avoid in Bible Study

Purely Intellectual Analysis

Many of us in the church enjoy a good theological discussion or debate and, in its proper place, such interaction can indeed be beneficial in deepening our knowledge and understanding of what Christianity is about. However, as we come to think about Home Group Bible studies, one of the worst things that can happen is that we allow them to become is a succession of such discussions and debates. The primary purpose of the Scriptures is not educational, but transformational. They are given not just that we might read them, or discuss them, or even that we might believe them. They are given that we might obey them and walk by their instruction in our daily life.  James makes this very clear in James 1:22: “Do not merely listen to the word,’ he says, ‘and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” The primary purpose of our bible studies, therefore, is not our growth in knowledge or understanding but our growth in discipleship and this is something you need to keep very clear about in your own thinking and equally clear about with the members of your group. As the Westminster Confession reminds us, the Bible is to be our ‘rule of faith and life’ and it will only ever release its full power in our group members’ lives when our reading of it moves from the ‘enjoyably theoretical’ to the ‘uncomfortably practical’.

Part of your role as leader, therefore is to continually remind yourself and your group that your goal in bible study is to move far beyond merely discussing what the Scriptures have to say. Your goal is to more and more open up your lives, your relationships, your actions and reactions to God’s word and to increasingly take the risk of bringing all of those things into line with what God has revealed there.

Purely Superficial Analysis

The second tendency you want to avoid in your Home Group bible studies is that of constantly superficial analysis. This is the opposite of the above but again does tremendous disservice to the Scriptures and to the transformation potential of your meetings. Here, no attempt is ever made to think about and understand the wider historical or theological setting of the text at all. Instead members simply read though whatever passage is being studied in a cursory manner and then immediately launch into what they “think” and “feel” about it. Whilst there may be occasions when such an approach can have real merit, the practice of lectio divna for example, what follows in a group setting can so easily end up as a sharing of ignorance rather than insight. As the old saying goes, ‘a text without its context is usually a pretext.’ In other words, when we use scriptures with no reference to the context and purpose for which they were originally written, we so easily end up reading into them whatever we want them to say rather than reading out of them what God has already said. Such practice fails to do justice to the text that has been passed down to us and can easily become the seed-bed for all kinds of false conclusions, corruptions and even heresy. The opinions and viewpoints of your group will contribute much to the vitality of your study times, but your general approach to bible study needs to see those opinions and viewpoints interpreted in the light of scripture, not scripture in the light of them.

Neglecting the Immediate and General Context

People have, of course, been misusing the Bible, knowingly and unknowingly, ever since its compilation was first completed. This is the primary reason those in the early church felt it necessary to convene as councils and synods in order to summarise its proper teaching in the creeds and confessions we now use today. One verse here, half a sentence there, and you can argue or justify almost anything you want to. Furthermore, thinking that we understand what a verse says does not necessarily mean that we do understand what it means. For example, in Luke 14.26 Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciples.” With bad homework and failing to realise that in the original Greek text these words constitute a grammatical form emphasising the comparison “the one as compared to the other”, we could easily end up using them to justify very terrible things. We could seemingly kick our parents out in the street, leave our marriage partners behind, and disown our children – all in “obedience to the gospel”.  But, of course, we would be missing the point of Jesus completely if we did. What Jesus is actually saying is that, in comparison to our commitment to him, it is as though we hate our family, even our lives, not that we should actually ever do so at all. Our love for Christ leads us to love our parents, our spouses and our children more, not less. This is a very obvious example, but the point is nonetheless very important. Taking the Bible’s message out of its original context and failing to grasp what its original authors were trying to communicate when they first wrote what they did is almost always a foolish thing to do. Proper preparation is the secret to avoiding all of these difficulties.  If prior to the study you have thoroughly investigated the text and sought to clearly grasp both its immediate context, i.e. what issue the author is actually saying, why he is saying it, and what he is trying to do by saying it, and its general context, i.e., where this text fits into the argument of the whole chapter, the whole book, and the whole Bible, then you will be able to guide your members beyond the superficial to depth, and beyond the intellectual to the practical. This sounds quite complicated but with the amazing wealth of support materials now available in print and on the web it not nearly so difficult to do as it first appears.

What To Aim For in Bible Study

What you are aiming for in your Home Group’s bible study times is to bring your members into a regular face-to-face encounter with God’s divinely inspired record of his dealings with his people. In Roman 12.2 the Apostle Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  The maturation of your members’ faith and the transformation of your members’ lives, Paul is saying, will occur as a result of the maturation and transformation of your members’ minds. And this takes place by their continued exposure to, reflection upon and application of the truth of God’s Word. What you want to do, then, in your times of study is to raise the issues central to your member’s lives, enable them to see for themselves what the Bible has to say concerning these issues, lead them into an open discussion of the Bible’s message, and allow them to discover what God would have them do and how he would have them act from that moment on.  It’s not that you are there to tell them what to think, believe and do. It is rather that you are there to enable them to discover these things for themselves as the Holy Spirit opens up their hearts to receive what God would say to them through his Word.

Guided Discovery Bible Study

There are many approaches to studying the Bible but the most effective in achieving what we’re aiming for in a Home Group setting is the Guided Discovery, or, more technically, the Directed Inductive Bible study. This approach seeks to address the real concerns of your members, to take the Bible text seriously and to discover its implications for their lives in those areas of concern. It aims at overlaying the truth of the Scriptures upon the past and present experiences of the group in order to inform and direct those of the future.

Guided Discovery Bible Study involves leading yourself and your group through the following five steps:

I. Identification

The first step is to establish a point of identification between the life experiences of your group and the Bible passage to be studied. Though this step will come first in leading your study, it may well come last in your preparation. As your members come in the midst of a busy week giving up some of their most precious commodity, their time, they will want to find that the issues raised in your group studies are relevant to their lives and therefore worthy of their close attention and energy. The first step, then, you have to take in leading your Bible study is to allow your group to see that the text to be studied will address a real issue in their lives. You can do this very simply by asking some questions that set the scene or by telling a story that raises the issue to be covered at the beginning of your study.

For example, if your study was going to be on Matt 18.21-35 dealing with forgiveness, you could begin by asking your group to think of a time when they were lied to or treated badly by someone else and what their emotions were at the time. (Everyone will be able to think of many more examples than they would care to share!) Following a brief discussion you could then say, “Tonight I’d like us to take a took at why Jesus says we should forgive such people when they sin against us.”

Alternatively, if your study was going to be on Psalm 139 you could begin by saying “Tonight I’d like us to begin by thinking about the reasons why people usually become afraid or anxious about their futures.” Answers could include when under threat of unemployment, when having to move to a new area leaving family and friends behind, when feeling trapped in work they don’t enjoy,  when children head off for university leaving the nest empty, when they are ill or even during pregnancy. Then you could say something like: “Our passage for study this evening is Psalm 139. It has a lot to say to worried and anxious people.”   Taking this initial step to ‘identify’ with the passage will not only arouse your members’ interest, it will help you all to focus the following discussions upon practical application of, and personal encouragement from, the text.

II. Observation

Some groups are tempted to leave out this part and jump straight into interpretation and application of the text. But, as noted above, there is always a real danger in seeking to understand what a passage means before you know what it actually says.  During the observation phase, therefore, you will want to ask questions such as, What is the background to this text? What exactly is the author saying to his original readers? Are there any metaphors that we need to understand? Are there any idioms we need to have translated? Are there any word pictures that we need explained? What tenses are used in the verbs?  Do we need to read another passage of scripture to fully understand this one? Do we need to have some historical background for this text to make sense? It is during the observation phase that your preparation will begin to count.

For example, if looking at Matt 18. 21-35, you could explain to your group that the Jewish Rabbis taught the need to forgive a brother who sins against you only three times. After that you were released from this requirement. So what do we learn about Peter from his question?

Jesus here tells the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant.  Frequently people get into difficulty when studying parables by trying to treat them as allegories in which every detail of the story corresponds to a detail in life.  You could explain that a parable is generally a story that has one  one key teaching. All the details do not correspond to a different truth. Rather they all contribute towards this single point of the story.  This would prevent your group from getting too involved in who the other servants represent, who the jailer stands for, why the wife and children must pay for the servants mistake also, etc., etc.

Not many of your group will be familiar with talents as a unit of currency so again you could helpfully explain roughly how much each servant is portrayed as owing in the parable.

Finally, slavery and its workings are no longer as locally present in our culture today as it was in the time of Jesus. (Sadly it remains all too prevalent in many other cultures.) So it would also be helpful for the group to understand that being sold into slavery to pay off a debt was common and simply accepted practice at the time of Jesus.

All of this background information is readily available in various Bible Study Resources such as those that are suggested below.

III. Interpretation

Having observed the text, you will now want lead your members towards its interpretation. The questions to ask here include, So, what do you think the author meant by saying ….? What does this tell us about God/People/relationships/etc. ? What particular issue is the author addressing in his readers’ lives?

In studying Matt 18.21-35 these questions would include, What point was Jesus making by telling Peter to forgive seventy-seven times? What was so wrong about the first servant not forgiving the second? What enormous debt have we been forgiven and how must this effect our forgiving of others?  How does Jesus apply the outcome of this story to our relationship with God?

Sometimes the passage you will be studying will not be as straight forward as that in Matt 18.  When that is the case you will occasionally find one or more of your members missing the immediate and/or general context of a verse or phrase and drawing some very strange conclusions as a result.  Whilst you do not need to always jump in straight away to correct any idea that is wrong, it is very important that you have properly prepared yourself beforehand so that you can redirect the discussion towards correct conclusions if absolutely necessary.  Refer to a reference work (in print or online) giving an introduction to the Biblical book you are studying. This will set the general context of your passage, what the book as a whole is saying, and where it fits in with the rest of scripture. Then, consult a good commentary which will set the portion being studied in its context with the book, and finally, if necessary, use a Bible Dictionary to explain any difficult words that you come across. All of this will help to make sure you have grasped the immediate and general context of the text at hand. Then you will be able to guide your group beyond any confusion as to what the text might appear to say at first sight to what it actually does say when understood in its wider context.

IV. Application

As already noted above, some of us have grown up with the impression that the goal of Bible Study is to increase a person’s knowledge of God’s Word by passing on information to them. In this next part of your study, you will now want to make sure this dos not happen with your group. The primary goal of our study is to increase our obedience to God’s Word by discovering its truth and then applying it to our lives. For many of us, as bible study leaders, this will necessitate a changed understanding of the term “teaching”. Gareth Icenogle writes,

“Unfortunately, when those of us who are products of the western concept of classroom education hear the word teaching, we bring a very strong bias to this biblical term and pattern.. In Western Christendom today.. study groups and institutional churches have a very cerebral, didactic, informational and objective orientation to the teaching of the Bible. [But] such an attitude was not true of the apostolic small group communities. As the Apostles gathered people together, life was their foundation and field of instruction. They encouraged curiosity and affirmed questions. They practised non-condemning responses to the wondering, the inquiring, and the conflicting. They wanted real men and women to have a safe place to deal with the hard questions of life. And in all the discussion and teaching, ..they were, like Jesus more interested in formation of lives and relationships than they were in getting people to accept information.” (Gareth Icenogle, Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry, page 258)

It is for this reason that the application stage of your study is the most important. Each and every one of your Bible studies should be more directed to the formation of your members’ lives than it is to getting them to accept information. This means above all else asking questions like these: What does this text say about our lives today?  What changes will be necessary for you and I to put what this text teaches into our lives? What will we need to add to our lifestyle? What will we need to remove? To whom will we need to go? From what will we need to turn away? These are all vital questions to ask, and you should aim to spend a significant percentage of your study time examining this crucial step.

In terms of Matt 18. 21-35, Who is it that we need to forgive in response to this passage’ message? Who is it that we are harbouring anger and bitterness towards? What pattern of forgiveness do we now need to put in place in our lives if we are truly to follow after Christ?

V. Action

The final important step in the Guided Discovery Method is to bring all your discussions, interpretations and applications together with a call to action. Here the question moves beyond: What should we do in response to what this text says? to What will we do in response to it? This is something you can encourage as a privately answered question, maybe asking members to write the action(s) they plan to take over the next week on a piece of paper which they take with them. Perhaps, when your group has become more established, you could encourage your members to share these actions with the others and to be accountable to one another, in a supportive sense, for carrying them out.

Guidelines for Developing Good  Discussion Questions

The secret to leading your group members through the five steps just mentioned is asking good questions. Good questions are absolutely vital to dynamic and life-changing Bible study. They are the chief means available to you for leading your members to see the Bible as a book entirely relevant for their lives. They are the chief method at your disposal for showing them how they can take God’s historic truth and apply it powerfully and effectively to their present experience.  Most of the guidelines for developing such questions we have already covered (See chapter 2 on sharing questions) but there are four guidelines that particularly apply when leading a Guided Discovery Study. ( These are adapted from Julie Gorman, A Training Manual for Small Group Leaders, page 83) It is often helpful to refer to them before, during and after your Bible Study Preparation:

1. Concise

Keep your questions simple. Not obvious but uncluttered. Don’t ask for too much information at a time. You want to raise one main point at a time and allow your group to discuss it in depth.

2. Clear

Your questions should be easily understood. If it doesn’t make absolute sense to you, it will make little sense to your group. Ask yourself, “Could this question confuse or be misunderstood by anyone?”

3. Open

Discussion questions should not be answerable in one or two syllables. They should draw the members into thinking through the issue addressed, applying the text for themselves, and then expressing their own opinion concerning it.

4. Appropriate

Don’t ask questions that will embarrass or put down anyone in the group. “Sharon, in what ways have you betrayed the Lord?” would not really be a good question for your very first meeting!

Exercise:      Consider the following quote from Matthew 7.24-27:

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Based on this text, develop five discussion questions (one for each of the indicated types below) that you could use in leading a study of this passage.


An Identification question (do last):


An Observation question:


An Interpretation question:


An Application question:


An Action question:


Using Published Study Guides

As you have seen above, asking the good questions needed to make this method of Bible study really work is a little bit of a challenge. Take heart though, for there are a multitude of published study guides available that will often greatly help in your preparation. I say “help in your preparation” because more often than not it is a mistake to simply use a printed study guide word for word. Your group will have a unique identity. Its members will have particular backgrounds, particular levels of scripture understanding and particular needs in their lives. For good Bible study to occur you must make your questions relevant to them. Nevertheless, many good guides are available and used properly they can be a great help, particularly when you have a busy week at work.

When choosing a published or on-line guide, try to avoid two types that will hinder rather than help your group’s discussion. The first is made up of those study guides that are really commentaries on the text. These are more sermons than guides having only a few token questions tacked on at the end. In these the conclusions are already reached and they will not develop good discussion in your group. The second type consists of those guides that are deductive rather than inductive. Deductive studies begin with a particular premise, e.g. God is all-powerful.” And seek to prove it from various parts of the Bible. Discovery, or Inductive, Bible study on the other hand begins instead with a particular passage and allows it to speak for itself in the context of your group. A quick look at the number of references in each study will often tell which type of guide it is. Most good group discussions occur when one passage is looked at in depth rather than when many are considered in brief.

The use of a good published study guide will not only make your life easier, it can also be the easiest way for you to include others in the teaching role. If you think one of your members might be gifted at teaching, then why not ask them to get together with you and show them how you prepare. Next, get them to help you prepare and lead a study. Then ask them to prepare a study with your help and let them lead it with the group by themselves. Having a published bible study guide as a starting place can make all this seem far less intimidating to someone who hasn’t led a study before.

Guidelines for Leading a Bible Study

Whatever passage you are studying, and whichever method you choose to use, there a number of general guidelines that you ought to keep in mind throughout.  Jim & Carol Plueddemann, in their book Pilgrims in Progress, list nine that we have adapted below. (See Jim & Carol Plueddemann, Pilgrims in Progress, pages 96-97)

Prior to Meeting:

  • Relax! Take the responsibility of leading your group seriously, but not too seriously.
  • Pray and commit your group members and your study to the Lord.
  • Prepare thoroughly so that you will be able to pace the study and keep it going on target. Read the passage through several times until it becomes familiar to you. Work through the five steps (Identification, Observation, Interpretation, Application, and Action) for yourself. Develop questions that will lead your group to discover the core issues of the text. Go through each question carefully (following the guidelines given above) editing and rewording as you see necessary. Prepare any worksheets or visual aids that you will need.
  • Begin and end the study on time within the format of the evening.

At your Meeting

  • Start with a brief prayer asking for God’s guidance. Then read out the passage to be studied to the group. Don’t assume that everyone will already have done so, even if their covenant says they will. Try to involve others in this simple prayer but be sure to ask them beforehand instead of just landing it on them. The same is true for asking others to read the Bible out loud. Unless you are sure everyone is comfortable doing so, avoid reading around in a circle.
  • Encourage each person to participate both in the sharing time and in the study but don’t put anyone on the spot. Almost every group will have those who prefer to talk rather than to listen, and those who prefer to listen rather than to talk. Your challenge is to get the talkers listening and the listeners talking. Show appreciation for what people share, no matter what. Wait expectantly for the quieter members to speak. When you are confident it will be received well, you might encourage a particular person by saying something like, “Mary, what do you think about this?”
  • Seek to lead a discussion without giving a string of answers. If questions are regularly asked that you alone are expected to answer disrupt this trend by turning them into questions for the group. ‘Well, what do the rest of you think?’ Don’t refuse to give your insights completely, but only do so when you are sure that the group members have exhausted theirs and that there is something very important left to see. Be careful not to get into the pattern of always having the last word.  If someone asks a question that no-one can answer, including yourself, don’t be afraid to say, “I really don’t know. I’ll check it out for next time.” It is much better to defer your answer on a particular issue if you don’t have a thought through one to share.
  • If someone comes up with an heretical idea, don’t panic and don’t feel that you must step in and correct it instantly. It will probably die a natural death without your help. You can gently say, “Sorry Peter, where do you find that in the passage?” or “What do the rest of you think?” It is much better for your members to discover the truth for themselves than to have every misunderstanding corrected by the “expert”.
  • Avoid lengthy tangents by saying “We probably need to get back to the text.” Or “The next question asks..” Be sensitive though. It may be that what looks like a tangent at first leads you to a crucial issue for one, or more, in the group and the Lord would have you stay there a little while to help those in question. If someone asks a question that is not important to your study and will undoubtedly take you away from where you want to go, politely defer it to another time or occasion, “I think we should perhaps leave that one for later.” Maybe you could offer to chat about the issue raised afterwards or during the week.
  • In your discussions focus on what will bring edification and growth to your members. Refuse any time for criticising others outside of the group, or for criticising other churches or other denominations. Focus instead on what God’s Word has to say to you.

Helpful Resources for Preparation

  • A good Study Bible, such as the NIV Study Bible which is excellent.
  • A Bible Introduction, giving summary information of each Biblical book. Your Study Bible will help with this but see too something like User’s Guide to the Bible (Lion) or Understanding the Bible, John Stott (S.U.)
  • A Bible Dictionary, e.g. The New Bible Dictionary (IVP)
  • A comprehensive Concordance, 
  • A One Volume Whole Bible Commentary, e.g. The New Bible Commentary (IVP)
  • A good commentary on the book/passage you are studying. We particularly like the Tom Wright’s ‘For Everyone’ series.

These days an increasing amount of helpful information is also available on-line so even if you don’t have access to printed material don’t forget to try out your favourite search engine and see what it brings up for you.

Using Creative Methods

Variety in the format, as well as the content, of your Bible Studies can be a useful way to help your members engage fully with the Scriptures. Particularly during the early phases of your group’s life when people are still getting to know one another, and may be a little reticent in sharing their viewpoints, using some creative methods of study can be a great way to get the conversation started. Ultimately, of course, you want your studies to have depth and group led engagement with the text but initially, and occasionally throughout your groups’ life, there is no harm at all in having some alternative approaches. Two ‘alternative’ ideas are included below for you to consider but there are many more out there and you should feel absolutely free to make up your own.

Silent Study Method

(See John Mallison, Growing Christians in Small Groups, page 111)

This method is very simple and is a good way to introduce people to Bible study who have little prior experience of it.


Everyone needs to have a Bible. Choose the passage carefully, according to the needs of the group. Have a Nobo-chart or a large piece of paper available to record the findings of the group at the end.

  • Before telling your members which passage they are to study, tell them that, on their own, they are to look for one verse which either “means the most to them in the passage”, “sheds new light on the Christian life for them”, or “has a clear message for them at this time.”
  • Explain that this step is to be done individually and in silence, and that afterwards they will be asked to share their answers with the others.
  • Now the Bible reference is given, and when the time has elapsed (perhaps 8 minutes) the leader shares his or her answers first.
  • The verses chosen, along with any general points made, can be recorded on the paper.
  • General discussion follows concluding with each person praying in silence for the matters the person to their left shared.
Suggested Bible Passages:

Romans 12.9-21, Ephesians 4.1-16,  Psalm 139.1-10, I Corinthians 13. 1-13, John 15. 1-14

Swedish Symbol Method


This is another interesting method to use in the early days of your group.


  • Find a suitable passage. This message can be used for much of the teaching of Jesus (particularly the parables) and sections of the Epistles.


  • Make copies of the Work Sheet shown below.


Figure 9. Swedish Symbol Chart

  • Make sure everyone has a Bible.
  • Have your Bible Study Resources handy in case a question is asked.



  • Give each person a copy of the worksheet. Explain that they will have ten minutes to study the passage given using the three symbols on the worksheet as a guide. Explain each symbol’s meaning.
  • Ask them to write the relevant verse number beside the appropriate symbol. For example, if one of the verses contains something that they’ve never realised about Christian faith before, then write that verse number down in the verse column and explain why they have done so in the Comments column. Repeat this process for the three symbols and the various verses that may be appropriate to each one.
  • Read the passage to be studied through. Ask the members to look it up in their Bibles.
  • Each person works alone and fills in the worksheet according to their own reading of the passage.
  • After the ten minutes is up, the leader shares his answers first, followed by the others, and a general discussion is held concerning the issues raised.
  • If a question has been asked that can’t be answered by anyone in the group it should be researched during the week and an answer given at the next Home Group meeting

Suggested Passages:

Matthew 20. 1-16     Luke 7. 36-50     Ephesians 2.13-20


  • John M 16/08/2012 Reply

    Hi Keith,

    I like the format, range of materials (very extensive, did you write all these ?) and content is excellent.

    How do you envisage it working; everyone bring a laptop; read in advance; bring a printout; nominee makes copies available ? Will there be a study ‘leader’ ‘co-ordinator’ or ‘other’ ?



    • admin 17/08/2012 Reply

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comment. It is still a work in progress but I am basically trying to capture some of the learning we’ve had over the past while and use that to revise stuff I’ve written before and produce something we can make available to our leaders/potential HG leaders. Don’t really have any clear idea yet on the best way to get the material out to folks. In the past I have simply made printed versions available at training events but would also like to have it in a form that is available anytime thus my experiment with putting it on-line. All ideas very welcome.

      Hopefully when we get it finished it will be a helpful resource for our current and future groups.

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