Intentionality When Gathering Together

April 11, 2023

One of my favorite things to do as a pastor and believer is to share my walk with others. There is nothing like walking with others and having a good dialogue about Jesus. Not the sheer exchange of ideas and theory, but intentional listening, sharing and journeying with others. I learned those traits from my grandpa and my dad.

Sabbath school is one great opportunity to be intentional. Sadly, too many Sabbath schools have drifted into insignificance because they are solely about information and winning the argument. I fear we have become too much like the “Seventh-day Adventists” of the days of Jesus!

I have always enjoyed watching the Holy Spirit work in the lives of people who are in a Bible study group. My group always met on Sabbath. It always started as a small group but would then naturally grow to a very large group. 

I would intentionally start off by going person to person asking each for one thing they wanted to praise the Lord for. What had God done in a meaningful way for them? After hearing each person’s answer, I would follow up with a second question. What is one thing you want us to pray for this week? Again, we heard from each person. We then would notice different ones that might be missing and I would ask, who will take a name and contact them and pray with them. That was just the beginning of our time.

The second part was to open our Bible. I would take a book like John or Luke and we would start with the first chapter and take it verse by verse. Each person had an opportunity to read a verse, then I would ask questions from the passage. A natural dialogue would develop. Often, I would field questions of how this applied to today and what did that mean in living everyday life. Frankly, we didn’t worry about getting it all done in 13 weeks. If it took six months, so what? The point was engaging men and women in meaningful worship, study and fellowship.

The result was a family of believers—men and women who belonged, became and were God’s by design.

Our model was found in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” And two or three became more than 50. God blessed like it says in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” It still works today. Try it and see.

By Richard C. Dye, Sr.