Part 3 of this series gave 10 steps the Bible study teacher must deal with once he or she is in the students’ home and has opened the Bible and started the study. Announce your topic, start the reading of the verses with the person in the group who is probably the most important, don’t force anyone to read who doesn’t want to, explain the verse, ask if there are any questions, don’t argue, and don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answer. Part 4 deals with how to complete a study, emphasizing the importance of the Holy Spirit, along with the final prayer, as the principal power to bring conviction.

This is the most important part of the study. The Holy Spirit is present and doing the work of conviction. Thus, it behooves the teacher to be aware of this phenomenon so that the conviction can do its intended work.


1. When you have finished the study, ask how the students feel about the topic. A good question is, “How does the discovery you made today from the Word of God change your life?” “Which steps do you plan to take?” The most important move to make here is to try to bring the students to an acceptance of the message of the topic. As you go along in the study as an instrument of the Holy Spirit, you want to do it in such a way that the Holy Spirit can bring conviction to their hearts. You shouldn’t leave the study without a decision having been made. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go on and on, focusing on acceptance, if they haven’t accepted the message of the study. If they haven’t accepted the message, then you can say something like, “We’ll be looking at this again later on from a different view, and that may be helpful to you.” The important thing is to continue the studies, because sometimes further studies will deepen their conviction toward God/Jesus, which will soften them on subjects that were more difficult for them to accept in the beginning.

2. When you have finished the study and asked the final questions, have a final prayer. It should be short. In your prayer, say something like this: “Dear Almighty God [for Muslims, not Father or Jesus, since Muslims don’t see God as their Father or believe in the divinity of Jesus], thank you for this lovely family [or dear person] and this important study we’ve had together. Thank you for enlightening our minds. Thank you for planting in Jim’s/Ibrahim’s [or whomever’s] heart the desire to know truth, because we know that it is truth which keeps us on the right path to your kingdom. Take care of us in our absence, and bring us back together next week [or next time]. In God’s name we pray, Amen.”

3. Prayer can be a mighty tool for bringing about conviction or deepening it. With experience, you can use prayer to let the students learn new concepts, come closer to the Lord, feel affirmed, be inspired, be thankful, be comforted, and feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your prayers.

4. After you have prayed, don’t linger. This is a very crucial moment. To linger can provoke premature questions and situations which may undo the accomplishments which were achieved during the study.

5. Usually, you shouldn’t announce the topic of the next study, unless during the conversation someone has asked for a precise study, but then do it only if you know it won’t be premature for their current doctrinal understandings. If this isn’t the case and you share the topic, you are running the risk that your students may go to their pastor or priest or imam and get feedback, which will likely be stacked with misconstrued theological twists and could thus prejudice your students’ attitudes, making your next study to no affect, or at least making it very difficult to bring them to conviction on the true message of the topic. However, having said this, if you know your students well and don’t see any risk, you could announce the next topic so that those who wish to can study the topic for the next time. Sometimes this makes the study more interesting.

6. Don’t call on the phone to visit your students before the next study unless it is necessary to rearrange the time of the study or pray for them because something negative has happened to them in the meantime. Calling without a good reason could lead to premature questions and situations which could be detrimental to your next study. However, you might call ahead to confirm their attendance if there is reason to believe they may not attend the next time or if the meeting needs to be cancelled. Having a set time for the meetings, obviously implies regularity, but if the meeting needs to be cancelled, everyone should be informed in advance.

7. When you arrive home, while your mind is still fresh, make notes about how the study went—the students’ reaction and anything special that you need to deal with next time. Have a season of prayer for the students, asking God to send His Holy Spirit to work on their hearts while you are absent from one another and until the next study.

8. If you have many Bible studies going on, keep a written schedule of those events so you won’t get confused about when and where to study next.

9. Put your students on your prayer list and set time aside each day to pray for them. Mention each one by name, one after the other, in your prayers, pleading with the Holy Spirit to move on their hearts, to open their minds to truth, to accept what the Holy Spirit convicts them of, and also that God will give you wisdom to know how to deal with each situation, so that on every occasion, the right words may be used to sink home God’s truths to their hearts.

Lamar Phillips is a retired minister and church administrator who served for 39 years in six world divisions.