Training Database

Discovery Bible Study (DBS) - AIM for Unbelievers  
(Group session)

⤷ FOUR STAGES: Gospel Witness

60 min

This type of gathering follows the AIM Pattern or "three-thirds" to help seekers discover what the word of God is about. It is very similar to a the pattern used for disciples.

The heart of this pattern of meeting is the discovery Bible study (DBS), a method for studying the Bible that enables each participant to read and discover what God is saying through His word.  Instead of teaching directly to impart information, the facilitator asks a set of simple questions to help them understand what is being said and discern how God wants them to repond.  The simplicity of the questions permits this method to be reproduced easily.

The download link will give you a bookmark for this type of group.  Print the page, then flip it over and print the same on the other side.  Then cut into 4 complete 2-sided bookmarks. 


An AIM "three-thirds" group for unbelievers is usually practiced in a house of peace with several seekers.  Group time should not exceed one hour, with each "third" being about 15-20 minutes.  A prepared method using this pattern is called Hope in a Broken World.

In a classroom training environment, the AIM group for unbelievers is a model group to train disciples how to engage unbelievers in a discovery-based Bible study session. It also helps participants understand how unbelievers think and learn.

For training in larger groups, divide them into smaller groups and appoint a facilitator for each one.  Other participants will pretend to be seekers, or agree to look at the passage with fresh eyes, and will interact with one another in simulation as a training exercise. 

Leading the Session

The group session follows the AIM "three-thirds" pattern.  During the middle segment, the facilitator asks someone to read the passage aloud.  It is helpful for a second person to read it again from another translation for clarity.  The ask the following questions:

  1. What does this passage teach us about God, or Jesus, or about God's nature?
  2. What does this passage teach us about people or human nature?
  3. Where do you see yourself in this story?
  4. What is the one thing that God wants you to do now?
  5. Who else needs to hear what you have learned today?

Essential Guidelines:

  • Be sure to let everyone participate.
  • Let participants do most of the talking  (trainer 30%, group 70%).
  • Let the Holy Spirit be the primary teacher.
  • Don’t demand correct answers, and where possible, let participants correct one another on the basis of what the Scripture says.
  • Don’t discuss politics or religion.  Stick with the Bible.
  • Stay on topic.
  • Watch for the way the Holy Spirit is working to change people's hearts.
  • Keep it short, especially if you are in someone else's home (45 minutes to 1 hour).

"Stories of Hope"

A listing of key passages that are good to use with seekers, as they help people see Jesus in a way they may have never perceived Him:

The Outcast    (Luke 7.36-50)
Two Men in the Temple    (Luke 18.9-17)
The Adulterous Woman    (John 8.1-11)
Healing of the Paralytic    (Mark 2.1-12)
Two Births / Nicodemus    (John 3.1-18)
Two Rich Men    (Luke 18.18-30; 19:1-10)
The Good Shepherd    (John 10.1-30)
Woes to the Pharisees    (Matt 23.1-33)
The Prodigal Son    (Luke 15.11-32)
The Samaritan Woman    (John 4.1-30; 39-42)

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Alphabetical Listing of Training Elements

  15-Second Testimony
  Acts 2 Study
  Allen, Roland - Strategic Points
  Allen, Roland - Substance of Paul’s Preaching
  Allen, Roland - The Teaching
  Are We Disciples of Jesus Christ
  Balance in the Five-Fold Ministry
  Banyan Trees and Banana Trees
  Big Vision
  Blind Spot
  Breaking the Rules
  Church Identity Triangle
  Coaching Plan
  Coleman, Robert - The Master's Plan
  Community Survey
  CPM Continuum
  Creation to Christ Story
  Creative Problem Solving
  Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee
  Disciple-Making and Raising Children
  Discovery Bible Study (DBS) - AIM for Believers
  Discovery Bible Study (DBS) - AIM for Unbelievers
  Door-to-Door Preparation
  Ee-Taow, Part 1
  Ee-Taow, Part 2
  Eims, Leroy - Biblical Examples
  Eims, Leroy - Early Church
  Eims, Leroy - Two Examples
  Forces of Light and Darkness
  Four Kinds of Disciples
  Four Stages / Four Fields
  Generational Growth Mapping
  Gospel Bridges
  Gospel Encounters Record
  Gospel on the Hand
  Great Commission Partnership
  Hope in a Broken World
  Ibraham, Ishtak - Reaching Muslim People
  Inward & Outward Focus
  Know - Be - Do
  Lessons from the Thessalonians
  Lockridge, SM - My King
  McGavran, Donald - Pattern of the Great Century
  McGavran, Donald - People Movements
  Multiplication Exercise
  New Life in Christ
  One Anothers
  One Mission
  Parable of the Cornfield
  Patterson, George - Spontaneous Multiplication
  Paul's Development Through 5 Levels of Leadership
  Paul's Discipleship Model
  Paul's Three Journeys
  People in the Harvest (Four Soils)
  People List
  People Map (oikos or network)
  Person of Peace
  Positive Accountability
  Problem Solving Exercise
  Quotes & Verses Posters
  Richardson, Don - Concept Fulfillment
  Richardson, Don - Finding the Eye Opener
  Schindler's List—'I Could Have Done More'
  Schwartz, Glenn - Dependency
  Sending Narratives Study
  Seven Generations
  Simson, Wolfgang - Fathering
  Simson, Wolfgang - Fivefold Ministry
  Simson, Wolfgang - House Churches
  Small Group Sizes
  Smith, Steve - The T4T Story
  Stott, John - The Bible in World Evangelization
  Strategy Snapshot
  Testimony (Personal Story)
  The Bold Parts
  The Complete Package for Church Planting Movements
  The Five-Fold Ministry in the Four Stages
  The Four Fields and the Great Commission
  The Great Commission of Abraham
  The Great Story
  The Left Side of the Graph
  The Lorax—'Plant the Seed'
  The Modeling Sequence in Luke
  The Peter Pathway
  The Romans Road
  The Traffic Light
  The Word on the Street
  Three Circles
  Three Great Commands and AIM Pattern
  THUMB - Religious Groups
  Training Faithful Trainers (TFT)
  Triangle and Square
  Vision-Casting Vignettes
  Witness Model Zone
  Witnessing to Catholics
  Your New Journey


“It’s not that I’m so smart, I just stay with problems longer.” - Albert Einstein