Here’s our suggested time usage for a one-hour Bible study. If you have less time, pick a shorter passage and carve off time from each of the three phases proportionally. If your group meets for more than an hour, you can spend longer at the beginning building community and take time at the end praying and planning group application or outreach.
- Introductions or Ice-breaker (5)
- Background (1 )
- Read Passage Aloud (2)
- Individual Observation Time (5)
- Share Observations (7)
- Share and Arrange Questions (5)
- Ask and Discuss Questions (25)
- Summary (2)
- Application (8)
- The secret to a great pace is to move on when your group is about 90% done with a particular section. Don’t wait to end individual time until everyone is tired of reading. Don’t wait to end sharing observations until every last thing has been mentioned. Don’t wait to end interpretation until every angle has been exhausted. You want your group to finish the study feeling like there is MORE to be discovered, but they got far enough to put some of it into practice.
- If you move too quickly, your group will lack clarity for the latter parts of the study. Interpretation will be scattered and application will be limp.
- If you move too slowly, some of your group will start to check out and you’ll run out of time for application.
- Pacing is more art than science. Use the above times as a guide while you’re learning, but each study will take its own unique shape depending on the group and passage. Just be careful to preserve time for application!