What is DBS (Discovery Bible Study)?

2023/06/10 - By Dirk Develing

Understanding and using Discovery Bible Study

Discovery Bible Study (DBS) is a commonly utilized instrument within Disciple Making Movements (DMM), acting as a crucial component. It serves as a resource for individuals interested in understanding who Jesus was, for those who have already chosen the path of following Jesus, for leader training, and even for individual Bible study sessions​.

At its core, the Discovery Bible Study concept is about using the power of God's Word and God's Spirit in tandem to cultivate genuine disciples and competent leaders. The goal isn't merely to acquire a lesson but to explore who Jesus was, to personally comprehend God's expectations of us, and to understand how to be effective leaders. This exploration is done solely through the Bible. Within a DBS group, the leader's role isn't to teach but to guide through the art of questioning, echoing the style of Jesus who often taught people by posing insightful questions​.

For a DBS to be effective, there are some fundamental guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Every answer that relates to the text being studied is acceptable.
  • If a person misinterprets something, direct them back to the relevant Bible passage. If clarity is still elusive, assist them in finding the answer independently.
  • Debates are discouraged; the focus should be on interaction for a better understanding of the answers.
    Avoid referencing other texts, traditions, or external opinions. Remain focused on the text at hand​.

A Discovery Bible Study session begins by choosing a passage from the Bible, which could be an entire narrative or any other section of the Bible that has a clear beginning and conclusion​.

Various DBS sets can be found online, designed for different audiences: seekers, those learning the basics of life with God, Muslims, and more. It's important to select a set that resonates with your target group​.

The DBS process typically follows these steps:

  • Read the chosen Bible passage aloud, ideally in two distinct Bible translations.
  • In pairs, attempt to recite the story in your own words. Repeat this process twice, helping each other by filling in any missing parts of the retold narrative.
  • Answer these specific questions:
  • What insights about God or Jesus does this passage offer that reveal the nature of God?
  • What does this passage teach about people or humanity?
  • Are there any commands or examples in the passage to follow?
  • How will you put into practice in the coming week what you have learned from this passage?
  • Who will you share this story with in the coming week?

It is crucial to provide a specific answer to the last question.

The subsequent DBS meeting should ideally begin with the following inquiries: Have you done, want you decided to do? And with who did you share the story of last week?

About Dirk Develing

Dirk Develing is an apostolic leader in God's kingdom, known for his passion in investing in leaders and fostering their growth. He embraces innovative, out-of-the-box approaches to church ministry. As a business owner, he combines his entrepreneurial skills with his spiritual calling. Dirk is married to Hanneke, has three daughters, and resides in the Netherlands.