Bible Engagement: How to do Lectio Divina with a Small Group

Contributed by: Karen Spoelstra, Diocese of Auckland


Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is an ancient form of seeking to hear God speak to us through the Scriptures, which is attributed to Saint Benedict (c. 480 – c.543). Here the basic form has been adapted for use by small groups.

Small Group Method

Start by choosing the text that you want to read (ideally 9-12 verses). Print it out so that everyone is reading the same version of the bible.

Choose who will read the text, you may want to have a leader read or select three different readers.

Remind people not to use ‘their own words’ in the sharing time, rather just repeating the words and phrases of scripture.


1. The FIRST reader reads aloud the passage of scripture slowly and prayerfully.

  • Silence for 1-2 minutes. We ask ourselves, “Has a particular word or phrase captured me?”  Allow that word or phrase to unhurriedly echo silently within.
  • The first reader now speaks aloud the word or phrase which stood out to her/him.
  • Sharing aloud: a word or phrase in the text that resonates with you.


2. SECOND reading of the same passage

  • Silence for 2-3 minutes. Rest in the scene and stay with a particular word or phrase.
  • The second reader now speaks aloud the word or phrase from the text which resonates with him or her (the same word as previously or a new one).
  • Sharing aloud: a word or phrase from the text that resonates with you.


3. Let the group put away their texts and listen to a THIRD slow and prayerful reading.

  • Silence for 2-3 minutes.
  • The third reader speaks aloud their word or phrase and follows it with a mini-prayer, making use of the word or the words in the phrase.
  • Share aloud of your experience listening to and praying the text. Was there something that spoke to you in a particular way?  Did the text connect with some aspect of your life?

You can download a PDF version of this training resource here. Feel free to print and hand out these notes to your youth leaders.