How to Study the Bible as a Family! (The Ultimate Guide)

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You know how important it is to disciple your family. The Bible tells you. The church tells you. YOU want to! You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t. Yet, if you're honest, you just aren’t sure how!
In this post, I aim to show you a simple method of how to study the Bible as a family!
Let’s waste no time, and jump right in! Are you ready to alter generations?

Step One: Learn How to Study the Bible for Yourself

Have you ever heard the phrase, “You can’t give away what you don’t have?” Yeah, that applies to Bible study too!
If you aren’t in the Bible as a mom or dad, husband or wife, how do you expect to lead your entire family to discover God by studying the Bible? It’s impossible!
So here are four ways to get you started in studying the Bible for yourself:
  1. When approaching the Bible, find a flexible plan. Don’t use the “pray-and-point” method. It doesn’t lead to any life-altering change. Find a good, manageable reading plan, and be flexible as you follow it! Don’t stress yourself out by just checking off boxes, or burden yourself with another religious duty. Reading and Studying the Bible is less about quantity and more about quality.
  1. As you follow your plan, mine the passage and ask discovery questions. I was introduced to this method of Bible study back in 2019, and it has changed the way I interact with the Bible today.
    1. What is mining? Mining the Bible is reading the passage, and then, on a sheet of paper, “brain dumping” exactly what you hear from the Holy Spirit. This can be one-liner statements, comments, questions, concerns, etc. The goal is that the more you mine, the deeper you’ll go.
      Discovery questions are intended to help you process your mining and make you think and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They are also action/obedience focused, as well as mission-focused! Some examples of questions that I wrestle with as I read through a passage of scripture are:
    2. What stood out to you in this passage?
    3. What does this passage teach you about God and His character?
    4. What does this passage teach you about people, including yourself?
    5. What do you feel God is calling you to do? How does He want you to obey with the Spirit’s help?
    6. Who in my life can I share something about this passage with?
    7. Hopefully, you’ll see how this method of mining the Bible and asking discovery questions can change the game in your study time!
  1. As you mine and ask discovery questions, keep a record of what God reveals to you. Let’s face it, we are forgetful people. We need to find a place where we can document what God shows us as we dig into the Bible personally. This can be a physical or digital notebook or journal. Doesn’t matter, just make sure to write it all down. This not only helps you as you grow to look back and see where God has brought you but is also helpful as you lead your family Bible study time.
  1. As you record, begin to introduce outside resources! Some of you may wonder why this sub-step is number four and not sooner in the method. What you have to remember is that we must never rob the Holy Spirit of His teaching opportunities. We allow Him to speak to us and teach us FIRST, and then and ONLY then, do we introduce outside resources such as study bibles, commentaries, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. Allow Him to speak, then introduce outside resources to confirm what the Spirit has already spoken. Never the other way around. It’s very easy to do the opposite.

Step Two: Teach Step One Principles to Everyone in Your Household!

So now that you have your study time under your belt, it is important to teach everyone in your household to do the same. This is where my methods continue to differ from those you may have heard before.
Rather than just get your family together and just teach them the stuff that YOU learned and the stuff that God spoke to YOU, you will be teaching them how to hear from God for themselves. This is the key to an effective family Bible study!
When we “teach” without the opportunity for self-discovery, we are robbing God of the work he wants to do in the lives of our family members! We are robbing them of the opportunity to own their faith, and instead, they just borrow yours.
So it is highly important to teach step one principles to everyone in your household.

Step Three: Your Primary Small Group is Now Your Family!

Pet moms, handyman dads, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads, etc. If you can think of it, there’s a small group for it. And while I believe that small groups are important, I would ask you to shift your thinking to see your family as your primary small group. Your first and most important small group if you will.
I say that because it is out of this primary small group, your family, where I believe you will see the most spiritual growth and maturity, as well as the most impact on the spread of the Gospel! Just trust me. More on that in a minute.
So what does this small group time with family look like? Think of this time split into 3 parts:
  1. Care. Go around the room and ask each person these questions:
    1. What are you thankful for?
    2. What has you stressed out?
    3. Is there any need in our community of family and friends that we could help take care of?
    4. Make sure to pray together over these things.
  1. Discuss. Remember the mining, discovery questions, and outside resources that each member of your family took the time to document? Yeah. Pull those out during this time and as a family discuss what God revealed to each other. It’s probably a good idea to document anything that stands out as your family members share!
  1. Obey and Share. This part is the most important. As you are documenting during your family small group, make sure the conversation gets around to the obedience and sharing part. Encourage one another and pray for one another to be filled with the Spirit who enables obedience and sharing. Unfortunately, if you miss this part, you will not see any life-altering, generation-changing fruit come from your family Bible study.
And that’s it! Of course, these three steps can be modified depending on the age of your kids, but overall this is the formula to follow.

Step Four: Teach Steps 1-4 to Other Families You Know and Love

Not only will this method of family Bible study benefit your family, but if done correctly, can impact other families in your life that you know and love!
When every person that is following this method of Bible study begins to share with other people, the possible fruit is limitless!
Remember the people you said you were going to share something from the passage with? These are PERFECT prospects to teach these steps to!
Here are a couple of things to remember as you put this into practice
  1. People are more hungry for the things of God than you think. This is why this website is called, “Yes! You Can Discover God”. I believe 100% that anyone with a little bit of spiritual curiosity can discover God and I believe that God is going to use the family to do it! That being said, don’t be afraid to invite people to study the Bible in this way with you, Christian or non-Christian.
  1. Notice I even mentioned this step as one that you are going to share with others? That’s because the goal of sharing is not to draft them into your living room, but to get them studying with their family in theirs!

Step Five: Repeat the Entire Method

Seems simple right?
  • Study the Bible personally FIRST!
  • Teach everyone in your family how to mine the Bible and ask discovery questions
  • Set aside time weekly to gather as a family and care, discuss, obey and share.
  • As you share with others, don’t be afraid to teach them this same study method that they can use with their family!

What’s Next?

This is only the beginning. Imagine what could happen as new families in your local area start studying the Bible together, discovering God, and coming to know Christ! We need to consider one more step to this method…

BONUS - Step Six: Start New Church Gatherings with New Believers!

This is next-level, advanced stuff right here! It’s so advanced that the thought may terrify you. However, I strongly encourage you as you begin to share and see your network of groups around you grow, that you gather those groups together and meet as the body of Christ, the Church.
I know, I know! A thousand questions are probably going through your mind. You’re probably thinking things like, “But we don’t even have a building, money, or a Pastor.”
Let me share a few things regarding The Gathering.
  1. You do not need a building. You must remember that the building is not the church. You can meet in your living room, a coffee house, a park, etc. Don’t limit the Gathering to a specific building.
  1. You do not have to meet at a specific time. Your gathering does not have to meet at 10 am on a Sunday. Maybe the groups around you are third-shift workers and 6 pm on a Saturday works better. You are free to meet whenever.
  1. You are now the pastor of your Gathering. That’s right. You lead and pastor the groups in your local area. Now I’m here as your pastor by proxy and your support system in this step! I have created resources that you can use not only in your family Bible study but in your gathering as well.

Conclusion

Whoo. Now let’s keep going! Let’s go back to the beginning and walk through this method in greater detail. Starting with finding a flexible plan! Tap here to learn the best bible reading plan for families!
 

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