By dividing into groups of varying size and using discussion to study the Bible, churchgoers can enjoy a more active form of learning. Discussion-style studies are structured for an appointed leader to escort his or her group through an informal lesson predicated on heavy discussion.
Input from study members is encouraged during these discussions and can take a number of forms: reading and analyzing scripture, posing and answering questions, and sharing anecdotes that demonstrate how a particular lesson or verse applies to everyday life. This participation-intense style of study takes an enormous amount of pressure off of the teacher, who is present more to keep the discussion on track than to impart any particular lesson.
Nevertheless, leading a discussion-style Bible study group calls for a certain level of preparedness. The leader should read the lesson through and jot down notes that can be used to generate discussion. If a finite amount of time is available, such as a 30-minute class before Sunday worship, make sure to leave plenty of time for input, as the point of this style of teaching is to get others talking rather than listening to the leader lecture.