D: Hosting & Leading a Bible Study

BIBLE PREPARATION

1. Pray-Discover-Obey: Have you recently done an OCF group PDO?

     a. Yes: Great, that will help you stay the course through challenging times.

     b. No: See Pray-Discover-Obey chapter and plan for periodic PDOs to stay on track.

2. Pray for your study prep and for those who will join you.

3. Prepare ahead of time—give time for the Scriptures to marinate in your mind and spirit.

     a. Read the passage(s) in several different translations (NASB, ESV, CSB, NKJV, etc.). Note variances.

     b. Pick a key verse or two to memorize (meditate on the Scripture). Work on it daily.

     c. Review the setting/context of the Scripture.

     d. Ask what does it say (objectively and by implication)? What does it mean? 

     e. What do you not understand? Use commentaries, dictionaries, word searches, etc. 

4. Draft open-ended questions to guide the discussion. 

5. Consider what obedience and application might be wrestled with by the group.

LOCATION PREPARATION

1. Sitting area: clean, arranged for participation (face-to-face sharing)

2. Bathroom(s): clean and stocked

3. Beverages and food: hot/cold, plates, bowls, cups, silverware, napkins, trashcan, etc.

4. Lighting: from parking area to door (how will new arrivals find you, the right entrance, etc.?)

5. Extra paper, pens, Bibles

6. Child safety and welcome: make area ready and put toys/activities out

     a. Plan to communicate boundaries, expectations, and collect funds if costs are shared.

FACILITATING THE BIBLE STUDY

1. Introductions: maybe ask a short-answer, “get-to-know-one-another” question

     a. If someone is joining remotely, do a comms check.

2. Prayer: give instructions—who will start/end, not going in a circle, etc.

     a. Make notes to help you remember prayer requests.

3. Into the Word: provide brief context or overview of the text

4. Lead group through observation, interpretation, application of text

     a. Ask open-ended questions, allow silence, and listen to input actively.

     b. Guide enough to work through text (consider whether side trails seem beneficial as you focus on main Scripture).

5. End on time, but make at least one “OCF family” announcement

     a. Announce upcoming retreat or summer program or work project, comment on an OCF article or Crosspoint podcast episode, give update on chaplains/chapel program, etc.

     b. Invite group to stay for fellowship or to depart, and announce next week’s details.

     c. Ensure TDY/TAD guests have rides to Sunday worship or other activities.