How Can We Let the non-Christians Lead?

How Can We Let the non-Christians Lead?

The following is a Discovery Study for those of you struggling with the concept of allowing non-Christians to lead Discovery Groups.  A friend of mine, who needs to remain anonymous, developed this study.


David Watson
Irving, Texas


Discovery Bible Study – Study the following passages and consider:

  • Luke 8:26-39 – What did the man tell his family?  Who  ‘controlled’ the message?  (Note: principle of ‘know a little, share a little’).
  • Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-16 – What did the disciples believe when they were sent?  How much did they know?  We’re they “believers”? (Note:  They were sent repeatedly before Peter’s confession (Matt 16:16) and before they received the Holy Spirit (John 20:21-23; Acts 2:1-4).
  • Acts 17:10-11 – Who lead the Bible discussion group when Paul and his team was not present?
  • John 4:28-29 – What did the woman say when she went back to her village?  How much did she need to know to bring people to Jesus (the Word)?  If Jesus is not physically present, how best could we bring people to the Word?
  • Luke 9:49-50 – “Outsiders” are ministering in Jesus’ Name:  would you stop people who are studying the Bible if they don’t have a “proper” teacher?
  • Mt 7:21-23 – There’s some pretty powerful “ministry” happening in these verses—but Jesus ‘doesn’t know them’!  So, how do we really know who is a believer?  Is it possible many “Christians” teaching and ministering in various ways today are actually not real believers (but we entrust the pulpit, lectern, leadership, etc. to them).
  • Mt 23:8-11 – What’s the danger here?  How do we avoid it?
  • Mt 23:15 – What’s the danger here?  How might we be teaching others in similar ways?
  • Mt 15:3-7 – How might our traditions and rules surrounding teaching models  inadvertently lead people to break God’s commands? (Consider 1 Cor 12:7-11; 1 Cor 14:26-33; etc.)
  • John 6:43-45; 16:13 – Who will guide people into Truth?
  • Is 55:10-11 – What does God promise concerning His Word?  Overall, is it better for unbelievers to study God’s Word or not study God’s Word?  (Remember the reality across the world that many people have access to God’s Word and are not studying it or only study it with “approved” teachers which are often
  • Heb 4:12 – Is God’s Word able to accomplish the things listed or do we need a human interpreter to make sure it accomplishes what God intends?
  • Mt 7:15; 2 Pet 2:1-22 – How do we recognize false prophets?  What’s the best antidote for false teachers?  (See how Peter answers in 2 Peter 3:2)

Discussion – After reading and considering the above, discuss in small groups:

  • How can we can “teach” without “teaching”?  (Note the verbs in Acts 17:1-3 to describe Paul’s many ways of teaching.)
  • How has our concepts of “teaching” and “preaching” been informed by our own cultures in ways that actually may be OK but not biblically required?
  • How have you seen humans usurping the Teacher role that is rightfully God’s?  How can we avoid that doing that?
  • While the Discovery Group is not a tool explicitly found in Scripture, do you think that it is a legitimate way to “teach”? Why/why not?


  • What 1-2 things are you going to do differently as a result of this study?
  • How will you teach differently?
  • How will you treat others’ ministry differently?

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