Bible Study Playbook

A practical playbook to help you lead effective and engaging Bible studies.

So, you want to lead an engaging Bible study?

This playbook gives you everything you need to get started.


It’s really simple:


First, INVITE one or more friends to join you.

When you meet, start with a CHECK-IN.

This is an opportunity for people to share the highs and lows of life and how you’ve been doing recently. End your check-in time with a prayer.

STUDY the Bible.

We encourage you to follow our Small Groups Cycle OR choose a book of the Bible you want to explore together as a group. See some of our Recommended studies and resources HERE.

PRAY together.

Take time to respond to Jesus and what he’s been saying to you.

The Bible Study:

We know it can feel intimidating to lead a Bible study, so here’s a breakdown of the Bible Study time:


Open your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to teach, correct, and train you (2 Timothy 3:16). Read the passage out loud once together and then silently a few more times, noting your questions and observations.


To help one another observe, share your questions and observations about the passage. Here are some examples:


  • What’s happening in this passage?
  • What things are emphasized, repeated, or related?
  • Who are the main characters?
  • What’s the meaning of key words and phrases?
  • Is there cultural background we need to know to make sense of the passage?
  • What is the human author’s intent in writing?
  • What genre of writing is this?
  • What’s the big idea of the passage?

It’s helpful to write down what others are observing and asking.


Use the passage itself, its surrounding literary context, and other parts of the Bible (the Old Testament mainly) to figure out the answers to your questions. Doing this will help you answer the question: What did this passage mean for its original audience?


Biblical commentaries might be helpful conversation partners at this stage. As a start we recommend Fee and Stuart’s How to Read the Bible Book by Book


Now you can make the jump to ask the question: What does this passage mean for us today?


Some questions you might ask:

  • How is this passage challenging and re-shaping my beliefs about God or myself?
  • Are there any promises for me here?
  • Is there a word of encouragement, correction, teaching or rebuke for me?
  • What idols or sins does this passage expose in me?
  • How do I need to repent?
  • Is there a call to action or a command in the passage?
  • What does Jesus want for me or for us as a group?
  • What next step can I take (with the help of Holy Spirit) to apply this passage within 24 to 48 hours?
  • Is there any way this passage is calling us into service or mission as a small group?


4.  PRAY

You might spend your prayer time:

  • Thanking, praising, or adoring God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • Asking God for greater insight into his mind, heart and will.
  • Welcoming the Holy Spirit to empower you for faith and obedience.
  • Interceding for one another, your neighbourhood, your city and the world with specific prayer requests. 

It’s that simple.

As a study leader, you don’t need to have all the answers or all the mysteries of life figured out. You just need to help people gather around Jesus and let God (by his Spirit) speak and transform you through His Word.