Have you ever wondered how to lead a discovery bible discussion that will introduce people to Jesus?
Discovery Bible Discussion is a great and effective way to help people to discover Jesus around the table.
We had a bunch of people open to exploring who Jesus was. And they were keen to gather with us around the table for a meal, but what next?
Some had never opened a bible in their lives and weren’t sure if Jesus was a historical or a fantasy figure. But they were open to finding out.
So we invited a bunch of people around for a meal and a chat as we explored who Jesus was by reading and discussing stories from the gospels.
As we met for the meal, we’d talk about how we were all going and what was news in our lives. Then after the meal, we’d take turns to read from a chapter in one of the gospels. Then we’d get discussion going.
As time went by, I realised that we were doing a number of things.
- We were introducing the group to pastorally caring for each other.
- We were demonstrating that God is interested in us and that prayer is powerful.
- We were praising the God who answers prayer.
- We were creating a safe place for people to ask questions and explore.
- We were encouraging people to apply what they had learnt.
- We were introducing people to Jesus so they could get to discover who he was and is.
- We were leading people to Jesus by discipling them rather than going for a decision first.
That last point is a biggie. In fact each point is!
To unpack what we do when we get together, there are 3 major components that happen as we provide hospitality and engage in community around the table; Reflection, Discussion and Prayer.
Reflection simply occurs when we engage with people and ask them questions like:
- How are you (pastoral)
- What do you have to give thanks for? (praise)
- How did you go with applying what you learnt last time? (accountability)
Discussion takes place as we look at the passage or story starting with reading out the passage / story allowing people to take a paragraph each but without pressuring individuals to read if they aren’t comfortable doing so. Then generate discussion using questions like:
- What did you like or what gets your attention about the story / passages we just read?
- What did the main person do?
- What did Jesus do or say?
Application follows discussion. Its where we make decisions in relation to applying what we have just learnt and discussed, moving from head knowledge to action and then to prayer
- What will you apply to your life or what decision will you make as a result of what we have just read and discussed?
As part of application, it’s good to set goals. For example:
- Who will I share what we have just discussed with?
- Who will I invite along to the group next time?
- I will read the next chapter before we meet next time.
- I will pray for these people daily.
Prayer is a great way to finish the meeting. You can pray for the people in the group and any needs they may have. Pray also that what we have just discussed and decided will be re-enforced in our lives.
The hardest thing for me was not to pick up on a point and teach, but rather facilitate discussion “Thats a great question! Does anyone have any thoughts on this!” Of course, I could contribute thoughts as well, but only after everyone had had a good chance to bring their perspectives.
Often it was more about encouraging the comments from people who were on the mark and drawing this out, rather than in trying to bring the answers myself. “Thats a great observation! So what’s the implication of this?”
It’s a way of leading a discovery bible discussion that I’m absolutely sold on.
And you don’t have to be an expert to facilitate a person coming to know who Jesus and and then coming to know him.
If you want to unpack more about how you can lead others to discover Jesus around the table, you can look at some thoughts on whether it’s best to work your way through a gospel or whether a list of stories I’ve compiled from the gospels will be a better option.