We need to press more deeply into Bible study and prayer. We need to grow in communion and fellowship with our sisters and brothers in Christ. This is how we will grow in discipleship.
What will it look like? What will be my responsibilities? Do I have to talk? The answer to all these questions is: It depends. We need leaders who are willing to “facilitate” the discussion. We would like the time together to be informal and discussion oriented.
It is of no value to learn about the Bible only, we must think through ways to apply the teachings to our lives. It can be quite intimidating to open the Bible and begin discussing. Some of us will feel uncomfortable and be naturally hesitant to speak up on the subject matter. That is OK. The goal is for us to get familiar with the Bible and allow it to transform us.
Study of the Bible should not be left to Scholars alone nor should it happen in isolation. Bible study works best in community. Small groups will be a vehicle to increase our comfort in referencing the Bible for life’s decisions. Let’s take on the challenge of growing together in this way.
If Bible study is the fuel for spiritual growth, prayer is the engine. Prayer is God’s gift to us. It is an opportunity to commune with the Most High God. Some of us feel VERY uncomfortable praying in front of others. Or we really do not know how to pray at all. This could be a potential barrier to joining a small group. Join anyways.
There should be no pressure for all people to pray out loud, but we should be encouraging a prayer life in each other. Hopefully, friendships will form where we encourage each other in prayer. Many of us struggle through life in quiet desperation. Prayer frees us from the loneliness of our circumstances.
With these goals in mind, we know many of us are busy in life. We struggle to find time to connect with others in this way. We want to allow maximum flexibility for these groups. We ask they meet at least twice a month, and the days can be determined by the demands of the group.
Serious Christian growth can and should happen in an engaging and fun environment. Help will be available to foster these groups. Like anything in life, the quality of the group will be determined by the commitment of the group participants. I hope you will decide to join a group and I hope you will be patient as relationships grow.
I know many of you already have spiritually nourishing relationships, please take some time to develop more.
Jesus is our greatest need. He is our only hope, and his ways are the only way.