Leading Through Job

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to lead a group of people through the Book of Job in our Precept Study Program. Forty-two chapters in six days! And I plan to do it again in March for two reasons. First is that the topic of suffering and how to interact with those suffering is vital to us today. The second reason is that Job is an intriguing story with two different types of literature within its forty-two chapters.

The book is separated into prose or ordinary form (Job 1–2; 42:7-17), the rest being poetry.  This makes for an interesting dynamic when approaching the book of Job to study and lead your students.

Are you considering taking on Job? Here are a couple tips to get the most out of your class discussion.

1. Use the Precept Upon Precept Leader Guide. Job is an 8-week study which means you are taking on five chapters for every discussion week. The Leader Guide effectively breaks down each chapter and puts it into a logical discussion order. Watch your time as our study program was set for 1.5-hour discussions, and we could easily have extended that time as our group was eager to interact with each other over the lesson we were discussing. Did you know that Job is the first Precept upon Precept study to offer a specific Leader Guide for the In & Out Study? You can find and download it from our website.

2. When leading your discussion through chapters 3–41 (poetry), maintain a big-picture focus. There will be four to five verses in a section that describe a central point. Use your New Inductive Study Bible to see the new thoughts marked with bold numbers. Summarize the verses and be careful not to over-spiritualize them. Focus on the main points of the chapter.

3. Use the At-A-Glance Chart. Make sure your students have their At-A-Glance Chart with them for every lesson. Leave enough time at the end of each chapter to summarize and write down the theme if the class has not already done so beforehand. Summarizing themes is a skill that takes practice and is vital to help us remember what the chapter is about. Students learn from each other as the themes are shared in class. On the At-A-Glance Chart, you will also want to fill in the segment divisions, and the good news is these divisions are easy to spot in Job as you complete your homework.

4. Use the video lectures. David Arthur does a fantastic job on the teaching videos that correspond with this study. They provide an even greater understanding of the story of Job. Each video lesson is around 40-45 minutes in length, and David’s insights into this book will help shape further discussions. Warning — do not watch the videos before your class as a part of the preparation. The purpose of the video is to enhance what we have already learned and discussed. They are not intended to help shape the discussion or to help prepare you as the leader for complex questions that might come up in class.

5. Finally — “Is that Jesus?” Since most of the book is poetic, there are some verses your class will come upon and question whether or not Job’s friends are talking about Jesus.  These situations make for excellent discussion and potential rabbit trails. Remember the simple steps of the Precept Inductive Bible Study Method. Observe the text and ask what it says, interpret the text by using the cross-references in the study and ask if these verses help give us a better understanding of what Job and his friends are saying and then apply those verses by asking good application questions. It can be easy to look at a few verses in Job and say, “that has to be Jesus!” Let the book unfold and be patient. God will speak to Job, and through His Holy Spirit, He will show you the overall themes that relate to the redemption story. Be aware that this study has a component that asks the students to dig into a commentary after each chapter is studied. The “Helpful Study Tools” section (in the Precept Upon Precept Workbook) offers three options for Bible commentaries which are very reliable resources. Remember that not all scholars agree that the verses mean the same thing, and this is why we appreciate the Precept Bible Study Method; we can discover truth for ourselves.

Enjoy the study, and feel free to reach out when you are ready to lead your group through Job.  We are always here to support you.


Mark Sheldrake, National Director 

Check out upcoming online Training Workshops for you to establish yourself in His Word and make disciples. 


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