3 Suggested Methods for Reading the Bible with another Believer (or unbeliever)

(Update: Col Marshall has a good article introducing the concept and ministry of one to one Bible reading that everyone who reads this post should consult)

Four steps to preparation (from One to One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian, p. 35):

  1. Pray for understanding and that God will use these meetings to grow your mutual faith in the power of the gospel.
  2. Read through the assigned portion of the Bible at least twice.
  3. Write down your impressions after reading the text each time – observations, main points, questions you have (depending on what sort of framework you are useing).
  4. Pray based on what you have read, and pray again for your forthcoming meeting.

The Swedish Method – (here’s a Swedish Method Template)

  • No prep time
  • Pick a passage or book to go through regularly
  • Look for an insight, question, application, and who you want to share what you learned with.
  • Discuss together and pray


  • Choose passage or book
  • See prep time above
  • Read passage out loud
  • Ask questions of Context, Observations, Meaning, and Applications.
  • Pray together about what you learned
  • Use these sheets

6 Steps to Encouragement

  • 15 minutes prep time for everyone before meeting – writing 5 things about the passage (insights, application, questions, etc).
  • 30 minute discussion time – read the passage aloud together and discuss your 5 things
  • Pray

This is a cross post with the CrossView Church LA blog and the TGCLA blog.


About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
This entry was posted in Bible reading, Bible Reading Meditation, church growth, church health, CrossView Church, Gospel Growth Competency, Ministry, mission, personal applications, private conversations/blogs/comments, Recommended book/reading, study. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 3 Suggested Methods for Reading the Bible with another Believer (or unbeliever)

  1. Nathan Wun says:

    Your title enticed me to read this. I’ve had to do impromptu bible studies with believers and plan some “easy to do” bible studies with non believers quite a bit lately. I wouldn’t mind having your opinion on these methods that I’ve used. They work quite well for me:
    Structural outline:
    1. Pray
    2. Read the passage (Chapter or larger)
    3. Find the first section of the passage and discuss the main point of it
    4. Move through each section of the passage and discuss the main point of it
    5. Maybe a time to discuss application of this in life
    6. Pray
    (I personally like the application, but haven’t tried that step as much)


    Newer to English Method:
    1. Pray
    2. You read the passage out loud
    3. They read the passage out loud (as you write down words you may think they have difficulty with) (also write down main points and questions you may have for them)
    4. Go over words, and questions they have
    5. Express any main points (and any questions you have for them)
    6. Done

    Better at English Method:
    1. Pray
    2. You and them read silently (They write down any questions they have on a sheet of paper as they read) (you write down your outline of the passage)
    3. Ask them to retell what they read from beginning and discuss and as they go along (i.e. answering questions, pointing out main points).
    4. Done
    (by this point I’ve usually gone over the major points of biblical history… THE ONES YOU TAUGHT ME PJ… well a modification of 🙂 )

    I haven’t yet found a good way to incorporate recapping past sessions (let me know if you have any ideas).

    Hope you like, thanks for your share.

    • pjtibayan says:

      Thanks Nate. I like the last one. Especially with an unbeliever’s questions, I don’t think I’d have my questions for them to answer but I’d read the text out loud with them, then quietly jot some things or talk out loud, and then answer questions and make some points. Application would be with Christians generally, though I’d usually clarify what God is calling non-Christians to do.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s