Bible Studies

7 Steps to Improve Your Bible Study

Emilie Vinson

“Could it really be this simple,” I asked myself.

I spent an hour with a group of friends studying a passage of Scripture. Together, we had gone through Genesis 2. It is not an unfamiliar passage – I have read it many times – but I was surprised at some of the new-to-me insights we pulled from the passage as a group.

I have long struggled with reading my Bible consistently.

I know it is good for me. I know it is important. I know a consistent intake of Scripture affects how I see and interact with people around me.

And yet, I am rarely consistent in this area. After reading the same passages over and over, I wonder how to see familiar phrases with new eyes.

The following week, I opened my Bible to John 1, a chapter full of familiar verses. Using the same outline my friends used the week before, I worked through the first 18 verses. I was shocked at some of the passage’s nuances I had always missed.

The format we used is based on a study outline developed by Lifetree Café. It can be used in personal or group study, with a format simple enough that spiritual seekers and new believers can easily use.

  1. Pick a passage of scripture. Stories work well, but snippets from the epistles work equally as well.

  2. Read the passage on your own or with a group. Try not to fly through the verses, particularly if the passage is familiar to you. Remember to read intentionally.

  3. Can you summarize the passage in your own words? What happened in this passage? Don't explain what it means, just summarize the events or the message.

  4. What does this passage teach about God? These insights can be simple statements, pulled directly from the passage. They can also be big-picture observations, putting what your chosen passage says about God in context with the bigger story of Scripture.

  5. What does this passage teach about man? These observations can be pulled directly from the passage, or they can include broader observations.

  6. What will you do (or think) differently this week as a result? What was the most significant insight you gained through this passage? How do your observations affect how you see God? Yourself? In what ways do they impact how you respond to Him?

  7. Who will you tell what you learned? Sometimes what God is teaching you through Scripture can also be significant for those around you. Continue the discussion with others.

For more information on how to use this style of Bible study to reach those around you, visit

A Legacy of Changed Lives

See how students are making a lasting impact through summer missions with Cru.

©1994-2024 Cru. All Rights Reserved.