Studying the Bible Together
We are disciples. What is a disciple? A believer of Christ who has chosen to imitate Christ, surrender his or her life, and submit to the growth and will of God. Acts 2:42 describes how the early church believers submitted themselves to the teachings of the apostles: they fellowshipped, shared meals and came together in prayer. It was a spirit of service accompanied by humility. The disciples of the early church did not seek to become masters, but rather they were all disciples, making disciples. They were sure their only master was Jesus. They lived a life that shared the gospel and gave of themselves. It was community, sharing meals, fellowshipping, caring for each other’s burdens and doing life together. They shared resources, they sought the common good of each other and also sought to bring others to the Way. Discipleship is our walk, and one of the ways that we are able to execute this discipline is through small group Bible studies, also referred to as discipleship ministry.
No one needs to be a master at leading a small group Bible study when you keep in mind that the purpose is to seek Christ as the ultimate master. Often individuals are too intimidated to start a small group Bible study or feel they don’t have the time to prepare for it. However, when keeping simple principles at hand, creating an effective ministry that will provide spiritual support for all those involved is possible. The simplicity of fellowshipping, sharing meals and coming together in prayer can initiate a relationship that will help a small group connect. The group can then serve the purpose of intentional Bible study, doing life together by sharing each other’s burdens, and accountability for spiritual growth. At the same time, be aware that the group does not become just a social club or a setting for catching up on gossip. Be intentional about reading God’s word and discovering how He is speaking into your lives.
As I reflect on my spiritual journey, I realize that the moments I experienced the greatest growth took place when I was involved in a consistent small group women’s Bible study. Six of us decided to meet once a week, share a meal, reflect on the Bible portions we had read for the week and discuss how they applied to our current walk. We were intentional about keeping each other accountable and we loved each other enough to confront discrepancies in our walk and address differences. During these times, some of us walked through personal trials, but having each other to lean on, pray with and share burdens was already in the DNA of our relationship. The blessing of intimacy with godly individuals is healing to the soul.
Small groups can come together for different purposes depending on the culture of your local church. Pray and ask God if He is calling you to create a small, disciple-making group that will share life together and invest in the spiritual growth of each other.
It doesn’t have to be burdensome and don’t get discouraged if individuals are not consistent. If the Lord places it in your heart and in your path He will also place it in the hearts of others to join.
How will you start? What will you study? What will you discuss? One can start by being willing to open up your home, select a portion of the Bible to read and just implement some practical discussion questions. Then, be open to how the Holy Spirit will guide all of you in your time together. As you provide an opportunity to gather and study, know that the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts and minds of those in attendance. Remember God works in a variety of different ways and His timing is not like ours.
Rejoice in your time together, delve into the goodness of the Lord and look to see where God is working! We’ve shared a few discussion ideas to get you started asking questions and discovering answers together.
Small Group Conversation Prompts
- How have you experienced God in your life this week?
- What questions do you have about this week’s Bible reading?
- Were you challenged by anything in the Bible reading?
- Did the any of the reading come to mind during work, school or at home?
- What new discoveries did you find in the reading?
- Do you have areas of concern about God’s working in your life?
- What is God teaching you in this phase of your life?
- How are you responding to His promptings?