Running a Discovery Bible Study

18th June 2020

Previously we have looked at what you need in order to launch a Discovery Bible Study(DBS), but what do you actually do in a DBS? What does a typical DBS look like?

Generally speaking, Discovery Bible Studies are gatherings of friends. You can use the DBS approach on your own - but you will get far more out if it if you do it with others. There are two main reasons for this:

So find some friends, and find somewhere comfortable to meet. A living room or a coffee shop works well. Somewhere you can relax, and talk openly to each other.


Ask how everyone is getting on. If this is not your first DBS, ask how people got on with the things that they said at the previous meeting.


Jesus told the people all these things in stories. He did not tell them anything without a story. What the prophet of God said long ago, came true. He said, "I will use stories. I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made."

Matthew 13: 34-35 (Worldwide English Translation)

Read or listen to the bible story that you are looking at a couple of times. You can use a paper bible or a phone app (like the Discover App) for this. You can use almost any Bible passage for a DBS. The Discover App website has some useful story sets to get you started


Ask for volunteers to retell the story in their own words. If you are in a larger group you might like to do this in pairs. Don’t worry about missing things out - often you will find that others can fill in the details. As we said, groups remember more than individuals. Once you are happy that you know the story, explore it with following questions


Make sure that everyone has the chance to speak. If someone says something that doesn’t seem obvious from the story you can get them to explain a bit more by asking “where do you see that in the passage?”. As we have already mentioned, groups often spot far more in a story than individuals would do. This is one of the things that makes meeting in a group so enjoyable (and often challenging).

Often questions will come up which the scripture passage doesn’t directly answer. This is normal and to be expected. It is best, however, not to get sidetracked by these. More often than not, they will be addressed by a later session. The aim of DBS is to discover together what the Bible actually says. Often this will be different to what we have been taught or heard from other people.


We usually like to conclude our sessions by asking two more questions:

As the groups grow together and progress through the studies, these questions help us to learn together and to help each other.


Scripture quotations from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.