Last Updated on June 27, 2018 by OCF Communications
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If you’re ready to start but don’t know what to do for those first few meetings as you get started, let me offer a suggestion. What follows is a scripted Bible Study Guide on the first six chapters of Nehemiah. This study should meet several objectives meaningful to you.
If you are unfamiliar with a discussion format Bible Study, you will see the nature–general approach and actual questions (with desired answers)–of such a study.
Participants will see the type of Bible study most often used in OCF settings. So, if the participants are unfamiliar with this whole thing called “A Small Group Bible Study,” they get to participate in this “sampler” study.
The application portion of this study will be both personal and organizational. By the latter, I mean that similarities will be emphasized between Nehemiah and the type of ministry OCF seeks to accomplish.
This should help you as a leader by having others in the local fellowship “on board” with what you are seeking to do at your installation.
Because of the above point, this study is a great introduction for your group to have a follow-on Pray, Discover, and Obey (also see the Pray, Discover and obey Leader’s guide).
The obvious next step would be to schedule a “Pray and Obey” where you would draw aside for a “season” of prayer to ask God to show you how He sees your installation (the walls of Jerusalem), and in prayer, discern His leading as you progress from a concern for others in the military, to a burden, then to a vision and finally to a plan.
In preparation for a group Bible Study, the leader should first proceed as though studying the passage just for him or herself. Then, when you have studied the passage adequately, you must decide what information to tell the group–usually because it would not be realistic for the group to discover this for themselves in the time allotted–and what information you should have the group discover for themselves. (Discovered truth is always more meaningful than “lectured” truth!) It is for this latter aspect that the leader designs questions to facilitate the group’s discovery.
The final part of the preparation is to consider and design questions regarding the application of the truths discovered to everyday living. A rough guideline for time allocation during your preparation might be:
– 70% for study
– 20% for formulation of questions
– 10% for the application phase.
In the Bible study provided, some portions will be labeled “Leader Comments,” for the portions that the leader is likely to tell the participants, and other portions will be labeled “Leader Question,” for a question the leader will ask in order to help the participants discover the information. In italics, and contained within parentheses, will be the general answers you as the leader are looking to elicit from the participants.
At times, specific words are desired, especially if they can be found in the text; if not, the leader should settle for the correct idea and only supply the specific word if you plan to build upon that word later.
It will probably take two or three meetings to study this passage with the group. The study does not have specific break points, but you might try to keep the major sections together. In this Bible study, do not think that you have to stick with the script.
The script is there to help those who need it as they begin. If you are new to OCF, I especially encourage you to read the script because it contains a lot of valuable information. Whatever you do, be familiar enough with the materials so that you do not have to read it mechanically as you lead the group!
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