Cory was the pastor of a large church.  He held a weekly Bible study that was supposed to be a verse-by-verse examination of the scriptures.  He encouraged the people who attended to enter into the discussion.  It took only 15 minutes for a close observer to realize that he not only did not study for the session; but he used the discussion time when he really had nothing to say about the scripture.

I’ve never been a fan of discussion groups, especially to study the scriptures.  If I’m going to spend an hour or more examining the scriptures with a group, I want to hear a teaching from a person who has at least read the verses before the hour began.  I get no thrill contemplating the thoughts of people talking about God’s word from the top of their brain. 

Here are some important things that the discussion cynic would appreciate that every discussion leader would follow:

  1. Study the Scriptures before the meeting. 
  2. Have a lesson plan and follow it.
  3. Change your lesson plan only ff you are absolutely sure that the Holy Spirit is giving you a revelation.
  4. When you open the discussion part of the class have a purpose for the discussion.
  5. Use questions to direct the discussion of the class. 
  6. Use questions to redirect the discussion to where it should be if a class member takes you down a gopher hole.
  7. Try to redirect those who bring every question back to their favorite subject.
  8. Remain polite but firm in redirecting the discussion back to the place where it should be heading.
  9. There will be at least one person who will try to take over the discussion.  Again, use questions to bring it back to the scriptures.
  10. Use something to record the answers of the class.  This could be power point, blackboard or white board. 
  11. Remember that God has entrusted in you this class and it is your responsibility to keep it heading in the direction it should go.
  12. Become confident in your position.  You are the one the Holy Spirit is using to direct the class.
  13. Give people time to speak when you ask a question.  When you ask questions, don’t answer it yourself but wait.  Someone will speak, if you will not say a word.

These are not the only things that make a discussion class beneficial.  What is the thing that you’ve learned that enhances a class that is open for feedback?

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