Teaching Tip: How to keep your group engaged when there’s a long passage

Today’s blog post is a teaching tip about how to keep your group members engaged when you’re studying a longer passage of Scripture. A typical Bible study may have 10-12 verses that are covered in a single session, but occasionally a study has a longer passage, maybe even upwards of 16 to 20 verses. How can you keep your people from zoning out and “going to the beach”?

Round robin reading

Round robin reading may be a way for you to keep your adult learners engaged. While this approach is bible-text-11288023193bA2tnot popular among teachers of children, especially in the public school arena, it can work well when used in adult groups.

When confronted by a long passage of Scripture you want the group to read in its entirety to get the general context, flow, and ideas in the passage, simply designate someone in the group to read the first verse. The person on their right or left reads the second verse, and so on. People have to pay attention to the verses being read or they will not be ready when their turn rolls around.

Listening exercise

A variation on round robin reading is to have the adults who are not reading listen for key things in the passage, such as:

  • Who said a certain thing
  • The location where the story took place
  • The main characters
  • The key idea
  • Words that are repeated for emphasis by the author
  • Actions that took place
  • Attitudes that were expressed


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