I have to say, I love the Bible Study group I belong to. I’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but thought I would bring it up again. If you are serious about growing as a Christian then studying the Bible with a group of people is one way to accomplish your goal.
What I like about our group is that we are a gathering of diverse people. I don’t think any two of us think exactly alike. Some of us are more liberal in our views and others more conservative, but we all respect each other and treat each other’s opinions with consideration and thought. If for no other reason I would think our group a success simply because we listen to each other. A few weeks back one of the members of our group felt we had given Nicodemus a bad rap so she came and made a short presentation on how she perceived him from her reading in the Gospel of John. It was very well presented and I am sure that more than one of us changed our mind about the story.
I love our Bible study because we are all open to learn. There is no room for pet theories or personal dogma. We meet together so that God through the Holy Spirit can illuminate our minds and hearts and give us guidance and encouragement for our spiritual journey. None of us thinks we have to be right all the time. We come to the scripture with a desire to know what God’s will is and then to apply the knowledge to our lives.
I love our Bible study because the Holy Spirit leads in our meetings. Some evenings we are led to passages of Scripture that seem to be exactly what someone needs to hear. And that leads me to the times that we simply end up supporting each other through prayer and words of compassion. We try to stay open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and if we don’t rush through the verses that we planned to cover that evening that is fine. Recently, we only made it through one verse (John 3:16) in three weeks, but we applied the wonder of that verse each of those evenings to crisis and needs within the group.
I love the people that I have come to know through the group. Some of the people I had never met before, but now can say honestly, they are friends. Two new people attended just last night and I am looking forward to making two new friends. One lady invited Ruth and I over to her house for American Thanksgiving and we solidified a new friendship. Other people in the group are old friends and it is such joy to see them midweek and worship God with these great people.
I love our small group, though it really isn’t that small anymore, because God is always exalted and we all sense we are drawing closer to God. In the New Year we are going to have an extended three-hour study on a Sunday afternoon. We will share a meal together, pray together and dig deep into the Bible. God is calling us to discipleship and it is a privilege to walk that journey with such wonderful people.
We don’t know what the future holds for us as a group, but it will be exciting to see how God will open doors and guide us through. Our study group represents people from three or four different Christian traditions, but what holds us together is our seeking to know God better.
If you don’t belong to a Bible study group I couldn’t encourage you more to round up some friends, open your house (thank you Bill and Mary), invite them over, open the Bible and let the words guide you. Anyone can lead a group as long as they are willing to let the words of the Bible do the leading and don’t try to impose their own prejudices and suppositions on the verses. If you want to know more about small groups just contact me at email@example.com and I will try to help. I would love to hear from you about your small group or house church or plans for a small group. Please just leave your comments at the end of this post.
One last note, my friend Mark and I are starting up a Bible study group in St. Andrews, and if any of you faithful blog readers live in the area and would like to be part of the group please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you the details. The study is on the book of John, and is an hour long and starts Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00pm.