What is Modified Inductive Bible Study?

The So What? series of Bible studies may be used with small groups, large classes, Sunday school classes, discipleship groups, and more. However you use it, So What? is designed to provide your group with a modified inductive Bible study. How do you lead an effective study? Read on …

Bible Study

Each session is rooted in the study of the Bible. The Scriptures are your “textbook.” Because the Bible is the infallible Word of God, the source of life, and the gospel of Christ, each session is centered on reading and understanding God’s Word.

What is “inductive”?

A good question has remarkable power. By asking questions during the study of Scripture, the students discover answers from Bible. There are three ways the inductive method does this:

  1. Observation: What does the passage say?
  2. Interpretation: What does the passage mean?
  3. Application: What does the passage mean for me, others in the group, and others in general?

Additional specific questions are posed in the Session Outline and the student Examine Bible studies in each of these three areas as well.

What is “modified”?

This inductive approach is called “modified” because you are not only asking the observe, interpret, and apply questions. You have the essential role as teacher-leader. The session is not the time for you to encounter the text for the first time and ask inductive questions. Instead, you lead while also teaching. You provide background, contextual information, and definitions of words and terms—teaching—if the students are going to discover and understand what the Scriptures say. However, this does not mean you will be lecturing.

How are you a leader and a teacher? You:

  • determine what will be studied,
  • see that the lesson aims are accomplished,
  • add your own additional questions to the session outline,
  • keep the discussion focused,
  • summarize the truths, and
  • see that students understand the main question and answer for each study.

What’s your role?

  • You are the discussion leader—not a lecturer.
  • You provide accurate instruction, context, definitions of words, etc.
  • You keep the class focused on the Bible truth and session aims.
  • You guide the discussion to ensure you complete the study in the allotted time.
  • You understand the basics of group dynamics to ensure that your students are interacting well with the passage and each other.
  • You avoid the dreaded outcome where students have only shared their ignorance and left with conclusions that aren’t based on the Bible.

We will be adding resources and help on leading a modified inductive Bible study. Join the conversation with others in ministry today as you “relate faith to life and life to faith.”

7 Responses to What is Modified Inductive Bible Study?
  1. So What? Studies
    August 24, 2020 | 8:25 am

    Exactly! Students are encouraged to consider practical application to their lives in every So What? Bible study.

  2. First Mount Zion Baptist Church
    September 9, 2016 | 9:05 am

    That’s complete information about the ‘Modified Inductive Bible Study.’ I loved reading this.

  3. Joanie Delmar
    November 2, 2013 | 9:30 pm

    I was told there was a “So What?” for high school students that dealt with the Ten Commandments. However, I do not see any info. Please correct/inform me. We are evaluating new curriculum for children-adults and are interested in knowing more about this series. Also for middle school students. Thank you for any insight you can offer.

    Joanie Delmar
    Children’s minister (McIlwain Presbyterian Church) Pensacola, Florida

    • So What? Studies
      November 4, 2013 | 1:02 pm

      At this point, none of the So What? studies has a specific Ten Commandments focus. However, in the Growing in Christ’s Church study, session 6, we do cover Exodus 20 in relation to worship. Also, in the Treasuring God’s Word study, session 4, we kick off a “big story of the Bible” study and touch on the Ten Commandments as they relate to God’s covenant with his people.

      Since you’re evaluating curriculum for children as well, you will also like to know that in all of GCP’s elementary curricula, we cover the Ten Commandments extensively. Both Younger Elementary “Pleasing God” and in Middle Elementary “Worshiping God” spend an entire quarter on the Ten Commandments, teaching the children each commandment and what it means. They also discover that only Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s law, their need for a Savior, and how to respond in faith. G2R Bible Survey also covers the Ten Commandments in the “Exodus to Ruth” quarter, which teaches preteens how God rescued his people from slavery and taught them how to live as his own. Let us know how we can partner with you in your ministry to children and teens!

  4. Doc B
    October 17, 2011 | 6:41 pm

    I’m not sure I love the wording, “What does the passage mean to me…” after ‘Application.’ It sounds a bit too much like experientialism. Perhaps some wording like, “How do I respond to this?” “What does knowing this cause me to do?” would fit better than re-stating the ‘interpretation’ line in a personalized way.

    • So What? Studies
      October 26, 2011 | 4:20 pm

      Thanks for your comment! The application question in this article is a short summary of how we pray students will interact with the Scriptures studied. Within each session, there is a broad range of application questions, including “How do I respond?” or “How does knowing this change my attitudes?” Students are encouraged to think individually as well as corporately, as people within the body of Christ. We’d love your feedback as you use the Bible studies with your students. Thanks!

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