Choosing a Bible Study Guide
People who have been mandated with the task of selecting a bible study guide know how overwhelming it is standing in front of a shelf that is full of books. What should you do? Do you settle for a guide that appeals to your eyes and hopes it fits your group? Do you have a helping hand whom you can contact and rely on the answer they give? Do you select the most recently published study on the market assuming that because everyone likes it your group will as well? Or do you need to discern whether to choose this guide? The good thing is that there is only one alternative on the table that’ll be life-giving. However, this does not imply that the rest are harmless or unhelpful, only that there’s a single guide that suits your group in the now. Below are some questions you need to ask when choosing a bible study guide.
Is this bible study guide profitable? God’s word is profitable. It is profitable for correcting, training, and rebuking believers. Therefore, when we speak of selecting a bible study guide, we should look at the curriculum that needs believers to open their Bibles and help them to interact with the Bible by reading, learning from, responding to, and meditating on the Bible. Here, we don’t talk of merely reading a Scripture and discussing it. There are several good books on sale including the ones to help you better understand the Bible, but they are not the way to go when selecting a bible study guide. You should ask yourself whether this bible study guide requires you to have an open Bible when using it, how often it puts you in God’s word, and if the questions rooted in the text require you to keenly observe the text, interpret and respond to it. Are the queries based more on God or more on how we feel? Did the author select phrases and words that can effortlessly be comprehended by everyone?
Is it purposeful? Each study must cause believers to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God: His ways, Word, character, and glory. Also, it should enable them to grow in their capacity to learn truths from the Word and apply them in their everyday lives. You should choose a study that accurately addresses the needs of those that’ll be using it. Each group will have different needs at different times. You need to ask yourself, ‘what are the things my particular group needs, and in what ways a certain bible study guide will help to fulfill these needs?’
Does the bible study guide point to Jesus? Ultimately, the whole Bible is about Christ. It is a story culminating in His life, death, burial, and resurrection. We need a bible study guide that points persons to Christ. However, this doesn’t imply we just study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Christ said that the entire Scriptures testify to Him. Thus, when buying a bible study guide, consider the one majoring on Christ and the good news. Consider one that’ll help your group to better understand the healing, hope, redemption, grace, and forgiveness that are theirs in Christ.