If you’ve taught a Bible study, then you know how important good discussion questions are. They can make or break a study, but many group leaders commit the sin of overzealousness when it comes to discussion questions. One group leader I know brings a list of over 20 questions to his group. Other teachers I know pride themselves on producing a long list of discussion questions (sometimes upwards of 20 or more per session). Just how many good discussion questions does the average teacher need? The answer might surprise you.
Most Bible studies take about 45 minutes to complete with a group. The Bible studies that my teams produce at LifeWay are built around the premise that a Bible study will last approximately 3/4 of an hour. In some cases, group leaders have only 30 minutes to complete a Bible study. So if a good discussion question takes the group at least 5 minutes to talk through, a set of 5 really good discussion questions will chew up 30 minutes of the group’s 45 minute study time. By the time the group leader introduces the study, and then develops the application of the study, the entire 45 minutes is gone! There is no way for a group leader to take a list of 20 “great questions” and create true discussion. They may be fact-based (text-based) questions that require single word answers, but those wouldn’t be considered discussion questions.
So as you lead your Bible study group, trust your curriculum provider and the experts on those teams who craft the discussion questions you’ll use during your group’s Bible study. 5 great questions are all you’ll need in order to have a truly great study experience.
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