What makes Bible study more than just a lesson in biblical history? There are many factors that weigh on this issue, and one of the biggest factors is beyond the teacher’s control (the receptivity of the learner). However, one thing that the teacher should put into every lesson is an application of biblical truth into everyday life experience.
Whether you are using storytelling, presentation, group discussion, question and answer, or lecture as a learning method; the teacher must engage his or her group with application of the Bible to everyday life. Without application, the lesson becomes an academic exercise.
Application is the “so what” question that helps move Bible study from an academic exercise
to a transformational experience.
EX: Read James 3:3-12
After studying this passage, how can you apply this Bible teaching to your life this week?
So how can a Bible study leader help his or her group apply the Bible to their weekly activities, and see transformation as the end result?
Understand that application is critical for spiritual transformation. Offer application during and at the close of every Bible study.
A simple closing application: “What would it look like if you weave today’s Bible study into your life this week?”
Use email and text to remind your group of the Bible study application. Remember, many people completely forget the sermon and the group Bible study in less than 24 hours. A reminder email sent to your group on Monday or Tuesday will tilt their learning curve upward. In many circumstances, the email will catch them in the middle of daily living and have as great or greater impact on your learners than the original lesson.
Encourage your group to respond back to you with testimonies of Bible application. Ask group members to email you with these testimonies. Get user permission from a group member or two, and read their experiences at the next group meeting.
Ask application-driven questions that demand some type of action. From the example above from James 3; here is an application-driven question. “You can breath life or death into the people you interact with this week. As you go through this coming week, what are some opportunities you will have to breathe life into another person?” Wait for some responses.
Use a visual reminder to send home with your group. Creating “verse art” is a simple process. Select a verse that catches the take-away thought from the Bible study and capture it on an image. Print the image onto card-size stock and distribute it to group members to carry with them as they go through the week. This visual reminder will serve as a daily reminder of the application. (An example of verse art from the sample passage from James 3 is shown below, along with a special offer.)
receive a print copy of the verse art card above by
emailing your shipping address to us
at sundayschool AT bgco.org
(while supplies last)