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transformational bible study
Transformational Bible Study

I have the joy of serving as one of the teachers of adults in the Sunday School of Moncure Baptist Church. As you can see, we’re a smaller membership congregation, so most NC Baptist Churches can identify with us.

No matter what size church you are, Transformational Bible Study should be a priority.

I believe that “Where there is no involvement

there is no learning”. (Gaines Dobbins)

Therefore, what you will experience in this

pictured model presentation is my plans for

involving all learners from the beginning of the

session to the end.

Moncure Baptist Church

building a transformational bible study
Building aTransformational Bible Study
  • Coordination

Hook Learners’ Attention

  • Stimulation
  • Introduction

Jump-Start Learning

  • Motivation
  • Preparation

Time Out – Prayer Requests

  • Transition

Keep Learners Actively Involved

  • Examination
  • Presentation

So They Will Take It Home!

  • Application
  • Appropriation
bible study plan sheet
Bible Study Plan Sheet

Go to:

  • General Leader – Module #2 “Transformational Bible Study”
  • Open the “Bible Study Plan Sheet”
  • Save as “Template” on your computer
  • Open “Template” and “Save as” a specific session on your computer. i.e. Save as: The God Who Speaks; or Genesis 1 1-30; or TGP Vol 1 Session 1, or any other way of your choosing
  • Read Leader Guide and Personal Study Guide Commentary
  • Read and get ideas from the Teaching Procedures
  • Begin completing the plan sheet using the suggestions and tools in “Transformational Bible Study”
model session
Model Session

The Gospel Project Curriculum – LifeWay

Fall Quarter; Volume 1; Session 1

  • Unit Title: The God Who Speaks
  • Session One Title: The God Who Speaks

Principle: Coordinate all session plans around the biblical truth and the teaching aim or session goal.

  • Biblical Truth: God reveals Himself as a God who speaks. His speech is a demonstration of His power, grace, and authority.
  • Session Goal – We will appreciate the goodness of God as seen in His revelation to us and that we will be motivated to spread the news that He has spoken by aligning our lives with His will and telling others of His grace.

Principle: Hook learners’ attention by sending to them a session related contact prior to the session and by placing visual stimuli outside the learning area/room.

  • Postcard, email message, twitter, facebook, etc.
  • Pictures or visual stimuli outside the learning area/room; down the hall, etc.

Email Message Sent Prior to Sunday’s Session:

There is hardly anything more beautiful than to be in the country, far away from the city lights, and to look up at the night sky. On a dark night you can see the stars in their orderly constellations that never change. We’re told that the earth is spinning furiously and the stars are an inferno of fire raging in space, yet every night they are the same. How can this be? When the moon is full, the world is awash with its glow, and this happens every month in such consistency that you can set a calendar by it.

And to think that all of this came into existence as God spoke two little Hebrew words, א֑וֹר יְהִ֣י “yehi owr”, Let there be light. All throughout the Bible, God is a God who speaks. This is in stark contrast to the pagan idols made of stone, wood, or precious metals that man has created. They cannot speak, yet our God speaks to us with authority, mercy, and blessings so that we can do the tasks He calls us to perform. God’s greatest communication to us is in Jesus who came to help us understand God’s grace; His unmerited love for us. How important is it to you that we serve a God who has not forsaken us, but who continually speaks to us? How has God communicated to you lately? This Sunday, we will study about God, the Communicator, and we’ll learn how we can be His spokesperson, telling others of His grace.

 See you Sunday,

Your Bible study leader


Hook Learners’ Attention

  • Place session related visuals outside the room to stimulate interest in the lesson.
  • In Genesis 1 God spoke and said, ‘Let there be light.’ Outside the room I placed pictures of celestial light and this Bible verse to stimulate learners as they entered the room.

Learning Environment

Principle: The room is the “silent teacher”!

Arrange room in small learning teams for maximum involvement. Remember, no one learns anything from looking at the back of someone’s head in rows. Create a “knee to knee” – “eye to eye” environment for participation.


Learning Environment

Create a focal wall to stimulate interest in the lesson. Include unit title, session titles with biblical truths or “the Point” for each. On either side create visuals or activities for other parts of the session. i.e. (left) mini-lecture visual; (right) application brainstorm tear sheet


Jump-Start Learning – MOTIVIATION

Provide a Motivational Activity to jump-start learning and to point learners to the biblical truth. This should be a fun, non-threatening activity in which learners share their opinions. Provide a written assignment with supplies needed (paper, markers, etc.).



As soon as the first learners arrive, get them involved in the Motivational Activity. Don’t wait for everyone to arrive to begin!

This session is about God who communicates. Learners were asked to make a list of all forms of communication from earliest times; then share with the group.



Principle: Put something of the learners on the wall ASAP so that they own the learning environment.

-When each team has completed its motivation activity (5 min.), allow each to share their information. Put their work on the wall.



Use the Focal Wall to introduce the entire unit to the group. Ask each learner to read out loud with you each of the session biblical truths. Each Sunday review previous truths and preview coming truths so that learners get the “Big Idea” of the unit.



Learners are not yet ready to examine the Bible passage. Set the stage for in-depth study by preparing the group with background information.

This information is usually taken from the first part of the commentary in the Leader’s Guide. Read this and underline the key words, then create “word-strips” of these key words to use as an illustrated mini-lecture outline. Prepare for the lecture by creating a presentation visual using “tape-circles.”



Principle: Support all verbal methods with a visual method.

As the illustrated mini-lecture is presented, place the key word strips on the tape-circles as a visual support to this verbal method.

Preparation Option: Create “listening teams” and ask learners in each team to listen as you read the Bible passage or present a lecture for the answer to a specific question. Allow learners to “tell-back” what they heard and learned.


Time Out: Prayer Requests

Take a “Time-Out” for prayer requests. Remind learners that God knows the details, so share names and brief request. Prayer is important, but this hour is “sacred unto God” for Bible Study.

Prayer Requests Format

Members: What’s on the heart of each one present.

Ministries: What ministries of our church need our prayers. This can

replace the announcements.

Missional: Share the first names of lost and un-churched people who

need our prayers.


During the “Time-Out” for prayer requests the learners have transitioned away from the biblical truth. Use a “Transitional Activity” to re-focus learners’ attention on the session biblical truth.


  • Use Agree – Disagree statements to test learners’ knowledge; the “false” statements can be humorous to make it fun. Place agree/disagree signs on opposite walls and ask learners to move to the one that fits the statement in their opinion.
  • Skits, dramas, monologues, listening teams, or a re-focus on the motivational activity
  • Technology, videos, movie clips, etc.

In this session about “God Who Speaks” the emphasis was on communication. I showed a YouTube video on my laptop of Helen Keller when she first learned to understand the word ‘water’.

I shared a transition statement that if God did not communicate with us, our spiritual lives would be like Helen Keller’s; without meaning.


Learners are ready to examine in-depth the biblical passage.

The session commentary usually has three sections. Create a learning team and assign each one of the sections from which to discover and share the biblical truth.

ALWAYS give written assignments to each team.

Assignment Format:

  • Read
  • Research
  • Discover
  • Create
  • Present

Team One

Read: Genesis 1:1-3

Research: Personal Study Guide – pp. 11-12, The God who speaks with authority.

Discover: Answer three questions –

  • What makes the words spoken in Gen. 1 so powerful?
  • Compare our God with the gods created by man. What are the differences; similarities?
  • How does our belief that God has spoken affect our view of Scripture? Our world? Our day to day behavior?

Create: Paper & Pencil – Use the large paper and markers provided to create a chart comparing our God vs. the gods or idols created by man. What are the differences; similarities?

Present: Team has 15 minutes to prepare a 3 minute presentation


Creative Methods

Team One: Paper and Pencil: Create a chart that compares our God who speaks to the “gods or idols” of the world who are silent. Compare the characteristics of each.


Creative Methods

Team Two: Drama: Interview a Deist who believes that God is silent; and interview a Christian who believes God is intimately involved in our lives. Compare the two views.


Creative Methods

Team Three: Art: Draw a person working in his own strength without the blessing of God. Draw a person who is obedient to God as a result of God’s blessing of grace. Compare the two.



As learning teams present their work, the leader should sit and be a learner among learners. He can use his leader commentary study to “tie together” the teams’ work and to add to the information shared. Focus should remain on the session biblical truth. As teams present, place work on room walls.



As teams present their work, ask them to: 1.) read their Bible passage; 2.) answer the discovery questions; 3.) present their information using the assigned method.

Team One presents their chart comparing God to the gods and idols of this world.



Team Two presents their Interview comparing a Deist’s view of a silent God and a Christian’s understanding of our God who speaks.



Here, Team Three presents their Art comparing a person who works in his own strength and one who works out of the blessings of God.



  • Application grows out of the teaching aim or session goal.
  • The Application Activity should progress from:
  • -General: How everyone might accomplish the session aim? To…
  • -Specific: How will YOU accomplish the teaching aim?
  • Example:
  • Brainstorm: How has God spoken to you lately and blessed you recently?
  • Write on a post-it note: What is one task you think God may be calling you to do as a result of His blessings. Place this note in your Bible at Genesis 1:27-30

In-depth Bible study is not more content, but engagement in the Bible passage to discover the biblical truth.

At the conclusion of the session learners should have an understanding of the biblical truth.


Principle: Bible knowledge is not the primary goal for Transformational Bible Study in Sunday School.

Learners should be encouraged to appropriate the biblical truth into their lives. Only then is Bible study truly transformational.

In the session on ‘The God Who Speaks’ learners appreciate a God who communicates intimately with them and He desires that we tell others of His grace.

Suggested Appropriation Activities:

  • Fellowship, outreach, ministry, or missional action related to session goal.
  • *Possible Task: Participate in church visitation or contact a prospect for Bible study.
resources for transformational bible study
    • General Leader
      • Module #2 – Transformational Bible Study
        • Conference Script and Resources
        • Summary Booklet
        • Bible Study Session Plan Sheet
        • Model Session Bible Study Plans:

TGP - Volume 1; Session 1