Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Engage Your Readers with Life-Changing Truth with the 5 Ps of Writing Bible Studies

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

Powerful paragraphs proclaiming precious promises. 

Purposeful prose preempting possible problems.

Prayerful preparation producing practical points. 

That’s what a Bible study can be when we write it with God. He leads us in a dance of studying and writing. He guides us to pertinent definitions and commentary notes. He points out contrasts and comparisons in a passage. He moves us to notice Scripture’s word pictures and illustrations. 

So I’d like to share with you five more p’s that can shape how we write engaging Bible studies. Our articles and books can capture insights God has led us to and speak to readers at their point of need. 

5 P’s of Writing Engaging Bible Studies

1. A Clear Purpose

Are you writing to encourage hearts or explain Scripture? Do you want to comfort or warn? Would you like to persuade someone’s mind or move them to action?

Before you tackle any writing project, pinpoint your purpose and include only the appropriate “ingredients” to fit that purpose (or purposes). Often, we may have a dual purpose when we write for a particular audience. 

2. A Punchy Presentation

Scripture is alive and powerful on its own, but it matters how we present it. Too many facts without enough stories can produce cold or boring writing. Too many definitions without enough takeaway can make our work sound like a dictionary. 

So how can we present Scripture with punch, zip, and wow? We spend enough time with God to learn from Him what a passage means and what the sparkling insights are. We share our definitions conversationally, weaving them into our paragraphs and application. We share the why or the how behind the what. We create hooks with our first lines and interest in our transitions. 

3. An Un-Rushed Preparation

If I don’t have enough time to study a Scripture passage with God, my writing can sound dry and flat. Sometimes I struggle with having enough “juicy” things to say about a topic or verse. 

But if I immerse my heart and mind in a passage and meditate on it enough, I feel both excited and inspired to write. Then it’s easier to share sparkling insights and application that will “stick” with the reader. 

Don’t forget to take enough time to be in Scripture with God, and enjoy the process. When we do that and see our study time as an adventure with Him, we not only gain help for our readers but help for our own lives. 

My favorite study tool is the Online Bible Software. So many of its definitions and commentary notes have led me to understand God’s Word better, and I use these as I write. Affordable and easy to navigate, Online Bible is available for the computer and as an app for mobile devices. 

4. God-Centered Prayers

Father, what does this passage mean, and how does it apply to life today?

Father, what do You want me to share with my particular audience?

Father, would You help me to live out this principle … or count on this promise … or trust You to do this in my life … or remember this truth about You? 

When we pray through Scripture’s application, it becomes more personal to us. When we ask God to teach us and guide our writing, His investment is what will make our writing shine. Oh, we have a part to play too—to learn the craft of writing and study the Bible. But when we pray through our studying and writing, we stay closely connected to God, and our dependence on Him yields results we can’t achieve on our own. 

5. Specific Plantings

I am craving flower season. I want to plant my zinnia seeds and watch them grow. I want to see my stargazer lilies flourish when it’s time. If we want to grow zinnia flowers, we plant zinnia seeds. If we want to grow stargazer lilies, we plant their stargazer bulbs. You shouldn’t get a tulip when you planted a lily’s bulb. Not unless a chipmunk is playing with you. 

What do you want to plant in the hearts and minds of your readers? Courage? Strength? Perseverance? How about a deeper faith in God or a desire to follow Him no matter what? 

When you pick a main point for an article or chapter, think specific. What one principle do you want readers to take away with them? Pick a point, and only write about that. Filter all that you include through that main point. Streamlined writing makes for streamlined reading. Keep the reader with you by supporting your main point and not crowding too many “seeds” in your writing. God can teach the reader something extra too, but if we desire to encourage our readers in a specific way, we’ll need to stick with our main point and save all other seeds for another planting.

Which of these 5 p’s are precious to you? Share which one and why in the comments. We’d love to hear what you do when you write about God’s Word. 


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of LIGHTHOUSE BIBLE STUDIES. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations, such as Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, Collection 1 which is a 2020 Selah Awards finalist. She also enjoys encouraging writers and giving writing tips in her monthly writers’ newsletter called THE LIGHTHOUSE CONNECTION.

In addition to online magazines, Katy’s writing can be found at CBN.COM,, and three blogs on writing. She loves to spend time with family and friends, create art and make crafts with her group MY ARTSY TRIBE, and tend the garden in the morning sun. She makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Connect with her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.

Featured Image: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


  1. Katy, excellent article. I find Scripture to be so "alive" I struggle to stay focused on a single purpose of my writing. Thank you for the reminder to narrow my presentation to its purpose.

    1. Thank you, Tom! I am so glad the post was helpful. May God bless your writing.

  2. Thank you for this prescription for powerful paragraphs and points!! Your words are spot-on, my friend!

    1. Your alliteration is awesome! Thank you, Julie. :)

  3. Great points and I like the 5 P's...Praise God we can write for and about Him!

    1. Amen! It's an adventure. Thank you for your comment!

  4. Thank you, Katy. All of your points are spot-on, but you know I'm drawn to the "planting" one. You've shared a wonderful metaphor for us. Decide on our goal and develop a plan--what we want to plant, grow, and flourish and choose the right seeds, process, and care, as we plan for the harvest. Beautiful message!

    1. Thank you so much, Katherine! You definitely would like the planting one. :)

  5. This is such a great teaching article. I especially liked the advice not to plant too may seeds in one place and to avoid doing so by thinking out my purpose first. So good!

    1. Thank you for that! I wanted to plant several seeds in my writing to give them as much good stuff as possible, but then I realized it's needed to make one great point stick. Or take root. :) Thanks for commenting.