Make the Passage Relevant


Guide for Bible Study Leaders

Planning a Successful Bible Study

Introduction

Welcome to our online Guide for Bible Study Leaders!  This is Lesson #3 entitled “Make the Passage Relevant.”

As a Bible study leader, you have my utmost respect and appreciation. Yours is an extremely important ministry to the Christian church, because it contributes to another person’s discipleship and to a deeper understanding of God’s word.

Helpful Advice for Leading Bible Studies

The following information provides an important foundation for the leading and facilitating of any Bible study.  In order to make this guide a little more manageable we have split the advice into five  separate lessons.  We consider them to be five invaluable rules for Bible Study Leaders:

  1. Lesson #1 – You should be well prepared
  2. Lesson #2 – You must do justice to the text of the Bible
  3. Lesson #3 – You must make the passage relevant
  4. Lesson #4 – Don’t forget that you are a facilitator and not a seminary professor
  5. Lesson #5 – Love covers a multitude of sins

Note: You can also access an Orientation to this study guide by clicking here.

Rule #3 for Bible Study Leaders

“You Must Bring It Home – You Must Make It Relevant”

Good study leaders / facilitators know that people are seeking to apply the word of God to different facets of their life.

Scripture has something to say (in its applicability) on many subjects that touch our lives. This includes our own emotional, psychological, mental or spiritual well being as well as the interactions we have in the different spheres where we carry out our lives: relationships, home, work, church and society.

People study the Bible for a variety of reasons, but surely these reasons include wanting to hear a word from God regarding the particular circumstances of their lives.

It is wonderful to study the history and the culture of the Bible in order to understand its context on a deeper level. But don’t stay there. Bible Study leaders are more than tour guides or archeology explorers of the Biblical sights and sounds. You must always try to bring it home.

People want to know “so what?” How does the event I see in Scripture translate into actionable wisdom in the present for my life?

Extract the Principle

The best way to make an application is to extract a principle from the text you are reading. This is why it’s so important to understand the context and the meaning of the scripture for the original audience.

The principle of not eating animals that chew the cud (Leviticus 11) has nothing to do with animals per se or eating pork (though some would argue there are many health benefits to eating kosher).

The principle has to do with two things primarily: 1) Being holy (i.e. not doing the things that Israel’s neighbor’s were doing) and 2) Identity – Every time you sit down to eat, your dietary restrictions are supposed to remind you that you are God’s special people. (And since you eat several times a day, then you should dwell on this idea several times a day…)

Once you understand the principle, a modern day application becomes much easier. If you really want to get discussion going you could even throw out the question in your study, “How would the principles we’ve discussed be applied in our modern context?”