As you plan to facilitate the Bible study on Sabbath morning, it is helpful to remind yourself of several basic factors. Frequently reviewing the following list will help maintain the essential skills of a facilitator.
Tips for Class Facilitating
- Pray: “ ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6, NKJV).
- Do not overuse questions that can be answered yes or no. These questions tend to stop the discussion. You can change the closed question to an open question by asking why, how, etc.
- Do not use too many questions. Be selective, using four to eight questions. (This includes three or four application questions.)
- Your questions should flow in a logical sequence. Spend more time on your application questions than on observation questions.
- Ask questions that are clear and short.
- Don’t be afraid of silence. People need a chance to think. You may rephrase a question, but never answer your own question.
- Acknowledge every response as positively as possible. Invite more than one response to your questions. This helps build spontaneity.
- Avoid a purely intellectual approach. Lead discussion members to see how God is speaking to them through the Bible.
- Guard against sharing ignorance. Lead participants to reference the Bible and other credible support.
- Do not encourage a superficial treatment of the text. Well-thought-out questions and responses lead to the answers beneath the surface.
- The study should result in action: more doing, learning, and, of course, sharing. The facilitator should help the group to know, then go and do, God’s will. Every student should be encouraged to share in this responsibility.
Tips for Personal Study
Do not be so busy searching for ways to meet the needs of others—class members, family members, and strangers—that you neglect your own spiritual growth.
- Insert your name in the Bible texts and Spirit of Prophecy counsel as appropriate.
- Use a wide selection of study aids, e.g., commentaries, various Sabbath School quarterlies, and resources from other disciplines—education, psychology, business—that will support your internalizing and applying the Bible principles for personal spiritual growth and your personal ministry.
- Study in your learning style and learning mode. Do not copy the ways of even conscientious mentors to the neglect of the methods God has built into your learning system.
- Focus on your needs, what you need to know more about and ideas that will help you to implement the Bible principles.
- Develop an outline or checklist of questions, and be sure to pursue the study to get all of the answers.
- Summarize each day’s lesson principle in two or three sentences, using “I statements.” Summarize each week’s lesson in 10 or 12 sentences, as a directive to yourself.
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists