We aim to follow John Stott's tried and true guidelines to get the most out of our bible study time:
1. Come to the study with the intension to engage and learn, which will enrich the time spent in group discussion.
2. Be willing to participate in the discussion. Everyone is encouraged to discuss what they have learned and what the Holy Spirit has revealed.
3. Stick to the topic being discussed. Your answers should be focused on the discussion topic, and not on outside opinions, commentaries or speakers... or on a different study. When studying a particular Scripture passage, refrain from referring to other Biblical passages. This way, everyone may participate on equal ground for in-depth study.
4. Be sensitive to other members of the group. You may be inspired by listening attentively when others share insights they've learned. Each question assumes a variety of answers. Many questions do not have a “right” answer, particularly questions that aim at meaning or application. Instead the questions push us to explore more thoroughly.
When possible, link what you say to the comments of others. Also, be affirming whenever you can. This will encourage some of the more hesitant members of the group to participate.
5. Never tell someone that their opinion is wrong, or that yours is right. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide, teach and correct our thinking.
6. Be careful not to dominate the discussion. We are sometimes so eager to express our thoughts that we leave too little opportunity for others to respond. Participate... and allow others to also.
7. Expect God to teach you through the topic being discussed and through insights from others. Pray that you will have an enjoyable and profitable time together. Consider taking action individually or as a group, what you can do as a result of what you've learned.
8. It will be helpful for us to follow these basic guidelines:
Anything said in the group is considered confidential and will not be discussed outside the group unless specific permission is given to do so.
We will encourage each person present to talk if he or she feels comfortable doing so.
We will avoid conversation about other people.
We will talk and focus on the bible study topic and leave personal stories and reminiscing for social times.
We will refrain from making glib or distracting comments or jokes during our bible study discussion to avoid interruption or distraction.
We will be cautious about giving advice.