As we grow in our walk with Christ, knowing God’s word (and seeking it with zeal) is one of the most important things we can do. After all, he’s revealed himself to us in two primary ways: Through his Holy Spirit, which we received as a gift when we became Christians, and in his Word.
This post is the 14th of 15. In each post, I’ll be examining my personal “Top 15″ things leading to successful bible study. This series of posts can be filed under “Sharing It.”
Click the link to view my last post on Valley of Vision.
Sharing It – A Small Group. So far, just about every aspect of this blog series has been specifically tuned to individual bible study. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, it’s been of primary importance in this stage of my life. In the last year, I have a new job, new city, new church, I’ve had several new “homes.” The only group of people I could count on being around from one week to the next was my immediate family. Yet, as important as that individual study is (and will always be), we weren’t meant to experience God”s word exclusively in isolation from one another. In his sermon from May 23 at the Austin Stone Community Church, Jeff Magnum preached on “Becoming Like all of Christ.” And what he meant by that was that while Christ spent significant time in isolation, communing with His Father, most of his life was spent in the midst of community – teaching, healing, discipling and loving. If we’re truly to live like Jesus, spending time in community is critical.
I’ve mentioned my Discipleship Curriculum course several times in this series. That 21-month leadership program was so powerful partially because of the coursework that Eric Schansberg and Kurt Sauder developed. But it was mostly because of the dozen men who made up my class. We studied the same scripture, but each of us brought something different to the table based on our own experience – and on our own revelation. It made the experience infinitely richer then it would have been had we simply studied alone. And currently, Amy and I are a part of an amazing missional community in our neighborhood. I’ve never met a group of people who were so committed from taking Jesus’ teaching into action in terms of serving in our community. There’s no question in my mind that having a group of trusted friends with whom to share your studies is critical to successfully engaging with scripture. For more on the impact of small bible study groups, check out the recent series on Missional Community from the Austin Stone Community Church.
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