Different folks have different opinions on Discovery Bible Study (DBS). This post is not out to get rid of sermons or other teaching tools; instead, these are a few simple things to think about as you consider whether or not DBS might be another helpful tool for you and your community.

1. Jesus told stories more often than preaching sermons.

The content of a DBS is typically a narrative story from the Bible, though occasionally expository passages are used. While sermons can be a powerful tool for communicating God’s truth to others, something to consider is that we only see Jesus preaching one Sermon on the Mount, but we see Him sharing at least 40 different parables. Some reasons to consider using stories in addition to (and maybe even more frequently than) expository preaching :

  • Stories can be easy for people from a variety of ages and backgrounds to understand.
  • Good stories are memorable.
  • Stories can be easily shared with others in a variety of settings.

2. Jesus asked a lot of questions.

Consider the following examples from the Gospels:

When Peter came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tolls or taxes — from their sons or from foreigners?”

Matthew 17:25b (NET)

He [Jesus] answered them, “What did Moses command you?”

Mark 10:3 (NET)

He [Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?”

Luke 10:26 (NET)

Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

John 21:17a (NET)

Why ask questions? They force people to really think and wrestle with a topic. As one author puts it:

“Among the four Gospels, Jesus asks over one hundred questions (108 to be exact). His questions were meant to wake up his listeners, to get the creative juices flowing and to stir up a response.  And his questions caused his listeners (including us) to look within in, to reflect and to be transformed.” 

The Jewish Spirituality of asking questions

In a DBS, the facilitator’s main role is to ask questions (or have the Waha app ask them!) to help the group think about the story they’ve just heard and figure out what it means for them and their lives.

3.  Jesus gave people opportunities for obedience.

Think of Jesus’ invitation to the wealthy ruler in Luke 18:18-24 or his calling of fishermen in Luke 19:1-10. In these and other situations, Jesus gave his listeners a chance to do something practical as a response to His message; sometimes they obeyed, and sometimes they didn’t. Considering that before His ascension, Jesus told His followers to teach new disciples “to obey everything [He had] commanded” them to do (Mt. 28:20a, NET), it seems safe to say that practical obedience is a high value for Jesus.

In a DBS, after a group has listened to a story and wrestled with its meaning through discussion, they are then given an opportunity to think about how the story can be applied in their own lives and then make a plan to obey what they have learned before their next meeting.


By engaging with Bible stories through question asking and discussion, groups of friends and family can wrestle with Scripture to figure out what it means and how they can apply its truth in their lives. Just click here to read an article describing DBS in action. If you’re ready to get started, download the Waha app to make your first DBS meeting super easy! 

This article was guest written by our friend, Jack Davison. He can be reached at jack.t.davison@protonmail.com