The Discovery Bible Study (DBS) method is often used in our projects among the unreached (see Jara, p. 21) because it is a simple, reproducible and empowering way to study the Bible. Moreover, it kickstarts the discipleship process starting from the very first study. The basic premise is that people don’t have to wait to share what they are learning until they are baptized. They can have an encounter with truth and immediately share what they have learned with others.
But can I use this in my own small group or for personal devotions? Absolutely.
The steps are simple:
1. Read the Bible text (usually a story) until all the participants have understood and retained the story.
2. Ask the participants to repeat the chosen passage using their own words.
3. Fill in the missing details not mentioned in step 2.
4. Ask the following questions and give everyone the chance to answer:
What can we learn from this passage about God?
What can we learn from this passage about people?
What practical steps can I take in the next week with what I learned?
(Or, what practical aspect can I change in my life?)
With whom can I share what I have learned?
This Bible study method does not overwhelm those who don’t know anything about God, nor does it require special skills. Both the participants and the facilitators have simple tasks.
Because everyone examines the Biblical passage, it remains in their memory.
They also discover truths directly from the Word of God and are less likely to challenge their validity.
God speaks to each group member personally, according to individual experiences and interpretations. So if someone reaches an unbiblical conclusion, the facilitator can always return to the text, seek clarification and clear up the misunderstanding.
Participants form the habit of implementing lessons learned from God’s Word.
Every person is challenged to share the story and lesson learned with at least one other person in the following days until the next passage is studied.
Each participant can immediately become a facilitator for other people. A spirit of missions and discipleship is cultivated from the beginning when each new believer shares with others the light he or she receives while growing in understanding.
Try the Discovery Bible Study method. It can be an excellent tool for witnessing to others or personal or family devotions.