How to Get Students Excited about Bible Study

by Sherry Spillman on Monday, July 01, 2013

As a Bible study teacher, you have a responsibility to get students excited about studying the Bible. The danger for you as the teacher is that repetition in your task can lead you to teach a great history about God rather than helping students connect with the Bible. Here are three catalysts to help you get your students excited about Bible study.

As I work with churches that have Bible study for students at least once a week, I wonder if we have been lulled by repetition and have lost some of the reality of what we are doing. Do we teach a great history book about God rather than help students connect with the Bible as "God talking to me!" I have discovered some great ideas to get our students excited about studying the Bible. Let me suggest three catalysts:

1. Who you are as the Bible study leader.

Exciting Bible study is contagious. How do you view your own study of God's Word? Is it something you do on Saturday night to prepare to meet with students on Sunday? Or do you have a daily time to meet God through His Word? Do you realize that you are a living lesson to your students as to how exciting the Bible study can be when you meet God face-to-face? Students will only be strong in the areas that they see you model.

Exciting Bible study is more than just teaching a history lesson about God. It is God speaking directly to us. A great Sunday School teacher realizes that if God, in Holy Spirit form, does not reveal Himself during the class, then no spiritual transformation will take place. When was the last time you expected God to show up and speak directly through His Word during Bible study?

2. How you facilitate a Bible study.

Today's students are hungering for the supernatural and seeking the spiritual. Once they have experienced God doing something that can only be explained in the spiritual domain, they want more. The Holy Spirit has a definite role during a Bible study session (John 14:26; 16:8,13).

One way for a Bible study leader to step back and allow the Spirit to work in a given Bible study session is by using guided discovery methods and activities. When three or four students are grouped together and are asked to search Scripture in order to complete an assignment, the Spirit is free to do the actual teaching. The students will dig deeper as the Word becomes relevant to person. Fact-finding assignments are elementary to the students' growth, but exploration of the Bible will take students to deeper levels of personal application.

3. How you walk with students.

When students realize that God's Word is relevant to their everyday lives, they will get excited about meeting God and will lead other students to get excited. Intentionally work with individual students on hearing God through His Word. As they take ownership of that experience, they will help the excitement spread!

During the Bible study, ask the Holy Spirit to make you alert to the levels of learning taking place. Observe what is being said and what is taking place. Ask leading questions. Keep your eyes open during the week to see if anything else happens that you can identify as God continuing the lesson for a particular student. Some examples that help students learn to know when God is speaking are:

  1. Experiences in Corporate Worship — Help them connect songs and the words of your pastor to see how it is relevant to what God is teaching.
  2. Working with Students Through Quiet Times — If you are working through the same Bible study devotionals, help them see how God is connecting to their unique situations through the message of that day.
  3. Small-Group Assignments Following Bible Studies — If you know a student is struggling with something, a simple, "I can't wait to see what you hear from God today," will build excitement.

Most of us know some plastic-coated, Christian students who can talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk. Could this be linked to the rut of teaching God's Word from a knowledge basis and not from an actual encounter with Him week to week?

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