God created us for relationship!! In the opening chapters of the Bible, God highlights this when He says, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” Though God walked in the garden with Adam, it wasn’t enough to fill the loneliness in his heart. As all of the animals are brought before him to be named, Adam recognizes that he has no suitable companion to walk with him through life. So, God creates…
Ecclesiastes 4:9 begins, “Two people are better than one…” There are various reasons for this: two people can get more work done; if one falls, the other can help him back up. Two can keep warm together; and it’s easier to fend off danger in a group. Proverbs 27:17 puts it like this; “As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend.”
All this is to say that it’s not good for a person to be alone.
In Acts, Luke tells us that we need to be in relationships for our personal and spiritual growth. As Paul and the early Christians taught and received teaching “from house to house,” we too must respond in our walk with Christ with small groups of other believers (Acts 5:42; 20:20)! Even in the shadow of the Temple they did this, even in the shadow of the Worship Center you can do this too. Why did they do this? Because they needed to be connected to one another in their fragmented and persecuted world; they needed place to learn and do what Christ modeled and taught them– the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches so that God’s Kingdom will be built and glorified.
Are you thinking this is great but not for me? Perhaps you are like many of us, struggling with a very full plate in life. A plate that is overfilled with mounds of things that you need to do and are responsible for in your life. Perhaps, they are even overflowing. We all struggle with the demands of our jobs and all of the frustrations and stress placed on us, such as goals, deadlines work flow and office hi-jinx. Then we have our family obligations, taking the kids to school, picking them up here and there, dealing with all of their demands and obligations too. Maybe you’re even volunteering for something in the church or community. Maybe you are juggling work and school and family, to the point there is not a free minute in your week. Now you are asked, “hey, why don’t you join our bible study group?” What??? I don’t have time for that! I can’t possibly commit to anything else. I am overloaded and overwhelmed! Well, to be honest, then you are the person who needs to be in a small group the most!
Why? Because, it is God’s plan for you to be in quality relationships with Him and then with others in the confines of a loving community, which is really the definition of “Church.” Because, we all need a place to belong and work through the issues of life. Because, we need to be loved and give our love. As a Christian our primary thrust is to know and grow in Christ. Where our goal is to be a surrendered and poured out offering to Christ’s glory (John 14-15; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:10). How can this be accomplished when all aspects of our life are riddled with stress? By learning spiritual disciplines and receiving the discipleship, relationships and encouragement that bible study groups offer. We need a place to grow and we grow best in a community with people who love and care for you!
Here are some more reasons to ponder:
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to understand and practice authentic relationships to feel apart of God’s family.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to practice our call to be discipled and make disciples
- Bible study groups are the perfect place for Spiritual growth to make His truth come to life in our lives (Matt. 28:18-20).
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to understand the Bible and heartfelt prayer and put it into action.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to unwind, release your stress and reprioritize your life.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to have our needs met and dealt with and fulfill those burdens in others is in a stable community. In this way we can handle stress, crisis, changes and the pressures of life better.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to be in study of His Word and to be in prayer, we do this individually but we are also to do it in community.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to welcome your friends into the church and introduce them to Christ.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to develop our skills, leadership and ministry so we can be better servants of our Lord.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to understand how to share Christ with loved ones and coworkers.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to deepen your understanding and practice of worship.
- Bible study groups are the perfect place to put into practice the teaching you are receiving from your church, radio, web and your personal devotions. Remember the phrase “one another” is used over 50 times in the New Testament to describe our relationship to other believers. So, small groups are the perfect place to be with one another!