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How To Start A Bible Study At Home

By Andrea Lucado

Friend of Greater Than Gold


We are in the midst of a difficult and trying time. And by “we,” we really do mean all of us. For the first time in living memory, the entire world is facing the same problem, difficulties, and despair. The word pandemic is actually a combination of two Greek words that translate into English as all people.

You are not alone. All people are going through this at once.

Among the doors that have had to close during this season are churches.’ Perhaps your church hasn’t been able to gather together in several weeks. Perhaps your morning or evening Bible study was canceled. Perhaps your small group that typically met in a congregant’s home no longer can. As Christians, we are grieving one of our favorite things: being together.

But this is not a first for us. God’s people have experienced numerous seasons of diaspora, a time when the tribe of Israel was scattered among different nations, no longer united in person. But always, God was faithful, and with this history, we have learned as God’s people that he is the one who unites us, not a sanctuary or building.

Because of this, even though your church can’t meet right now, or your Bible study has been canceled, you can still participate in the life of faith through personal or group study. You may not feel ready to jump back into a Bible study just yet. You may need some time to grieve, and that’s OK. If you are feeling the nudge, or if you are feeling hopeless, lonely, or uncertain, starting a Bible study at home might be a peaceful and grounding practice amid circumstances that often feel the opposite.

Here are a few simple ways to start a Bible study at home.

Start with a present need or question.

Are you feeling anxious? Are you feeling fearful? Are you wondering what role God is playing in your life right now? Are you questioning suffering and wondering what the purpose of all of this is, if there is one?

These are all reasonable responses to what our world and you as an individual are facing right now. Turn to scripture. What does it say about the work and will of God? What does it say about fear and anxiety? This could be a good time for a topical study on your current needs or questions or an opportunity to study someone in the Bible who wrote about going through difficult times.

The apostle Paul, for example, often wrote about the suffering he endured in order to tell others about Jesus. Studying the context of the letter he wrote to the Philippians, which includes verses like “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (4:13, NIV) and “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (4:6, NIV), could be helpful during a time like this. Greater than Gold’s study on Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon walks you through Paul’s time in prison.

You could also choose one section of the Bible to study. The Psalms are beautifully written and uniquely express the the intimate daily life of God and His people. Greater Than Gold's Psalms I study is free during the month of May 2020 to help you get started!

Include your friends, virtually.

Although you can’t gather with your friends to do a Bible study right now, you can gather virtually. Online apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime make “seeing” your friends possible even during a shelter-in-place order. Doing a Bible study with others can encourage you to complete the study and allows you to discuss ideas, questions, and inspirations that come from the text. Everyone approaches scripture from a different perspective, making the study even richer.

It is especially important during a time of isolation to connect with others as much as possible. Doing a Bible study with a few friends over the next few months will allow you to share your worries and concerns as well as your hopes with one another, connecting not only with God, but God’s people.

Designate a time and place.

Even though you are probably stuck at home and can’t actually go somewhere—like a coffee shop—to do your Bible study, designate a place in your home as your official Bible study corner. This could be a chair in your room, the living room couch, your dining room table. Any place that feels comforting to you and where you can be alone for a few minutes. Doing your Bible study in the same place will train your brain to focus and settle whenever you sit there and will make it feel like you’re “going” somewhere for your Bible study.

Picking a specific time to study, whether that’s daily or weekly, can also be helpful. Since your normal routine has probably been disrupted, establishing a new one is important to maintain normalcy and steadiness in your life. Pick a time in the morning, afternoon, or evening—whatever is best for you—when you know you will have few distractions and can focus on your study.

These are trying times. Fortunately, that’s exactly what our God is in the business of. Remember Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NIV). Find solace in God’s word and hope in the fact that even though we are not physically together, His word and His love unite us.