Bible Teaching Methods: Methodology for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

This Month's Bible Teaching Method:


Three or four students represent the class to interact with three or four resource people on various aspects of an issue while the remainder of the class listens.

In Choosing Teaching Methodology consider your group factors:

Click on a factor or scroll down.

Teacher Training Worksheet Based on These Group Factors:
Tips for Choosing & Using Methods

Group size
This method is good to use with a larger class (15+ students).

Resources needed
You will need to recruit 3-4 resource people who are knowledgeable about the issue or problem. It is best if you use two tables set up in the front of the room facing each other with chairs for each resource person at the one table and for each class representative at the other table. If you are in a large room, you may need to consider using microphones for the representatives and resource people.

Objective targeted
The primary objective of this methodology would be to gain information from experts.

Use modeled
Colloquies have commonly been used in large group settings like a conference.

Proximity of others
This method should produce minimal noise as only one person should be talking at a given time. Close proximity to other classes should not be a problem.

Finances needed
You will have no cost associated with this method unless you are providing the resource people with a gift or payment for their services.

Age level
The colloquy is most suitable for youth or adults.

Other than for the representatives and any time spent developing questions, this method is mostly impressional as students listen to the interaction of the representatives and resource people. You may have dialog during discussion at the end.

Time required
The total process (introduction of the topic, development of questions, interaction between the representatives and resource people, and summarization) can easily take 45-75 minutes or more.

Openness of group
The majority of the students will have minimal participation so the threat level of this methodology is low. The representatives can be those who are more open to speaking before a group but even their participation is limited to asking questions and not giving a speech.

Room size
A medium to large size room would be needed to set up tables so they can face each other in the front with the rest of the class being able to sit where they can watch the interaction. If your room is on the small side, you do not have to use tables but could merely have the participants sit in chairs facing each other.

Skills needed

Select resource people.

  • Recruit your resource people from one of the following:
    1. people from outside of your class who are either experts on the subject or know a lot about it
    2. people from within your class who are provided with enough background information to study and make themselves knowledgeable enough to field some questions
  • Inform your resource people of their responsibilities. Review the process with them. Clarify any expectations you have regarding arrival and departure time or other details.

Set up the classroom.

  • Place two tables in the front of the room facing each other with chairs for each resource person at the one table and for each class representative at the other table. Tables will give participants a place to set their notes or jot down anything they want to remember for later comment. Set up chairs for the remainder of the students to sit where they can observe and listen to the participants.
  • If you do not have two tables or if your room is not big enough, participants can just sit on chairs facing each other.
  • If needed, place a microphone before each participant or have a microphone for participants to pass to one another. If you are not using a microphone for each person, it would be best if you could have a separate microphone for the representatives and another for the resource people.

State the problem or issue and the purpose of the colloquy.

  • Inform every one of what you hope to accomplish in this session. For example, you may want to be able to solve a problem or you may simply want to look at different aspects of the issue.
  • Explain the process that will be followed.
  • Clarify or answer any questions students and participants may have about the process.

Select class representatives.

  • You may want to do this in a previous session or sometime prior to the session so their questions can be prepared.
  • You may choose students you think would handle themselves well as representatives and be able to draft their own questions. Or, you may divide the class into 3-4 groups to prepare questions in their groups. Each group would then choose a representative to record their questions and then ask the resource people their questions.

Serve as a moderator.

  • Guide student representatives in taking turns to ask their questions and having the resource people answer.
  • Keep it moving with no or minimal input from you.

Summarize the contributions of the participants.

  • First allow the class to ask the resource people any additional questions they may have.
  • Briefly restate or outline what has been said.
  • Draw any conclusions or make suggestions for the next step or for what they should do with what they have heard.
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Add more variety and skill to your teaching! This resource includes helps and resources for 57 different Bible teaching methods.

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(Last updated 11/01/17)