One of my passions is to see people sitting in circles together. Small group Bible study (Sunday School) is vital to a healthy, growing church. No one would deny the importance and inspiration of corporate worship. My walk with Christ is deeper and richer because of worshipping with you each week. Saying that causes me to reflect on the purposes of small group Bible study. Groups gather each week to study the Bible. However, small groups train people to grow in Christ, to love one another, to be on mission, to share the gospel, and to meet people’s needs, too.
I read recently research from LifeWay about the benefits of active participation in Bible study classes. The seven statements affirm why the pastoral staff and I desire to see greater levels of participation in small group Bible study.
- People worship God more passionately
- People engage the nations more frequently
- People pray and confess their sins more regularly
- People share the gospel more confidently
- People give more generously
- People serve more sacrificially
- People assimilate into the church more deeply
In our staff and leadership meetings, we talk frequently about closing the church’s back door. It’s painful for me to see people join our church and then leave (without a Spirit-led reason).
Two areas are critical to help people assimilate into the life and fellowship of the church. First, people need to establish relationships. New church members need to make friends in the church. A small group Bible study class is an ideal environment to build friendships. Second, people need to be given a responsibility. People need to be asked to serve. A small group Bible study class can enlist class members to serve in a variety of ways. I’m confident that relationships and responsibility are like Velcro in church life. Velcro helps people stick!
If you’re reading this article and you’re not involved in a small group Bible study class, I encourage you to do several things. (1) Come to the church campus on Sunday at 9:00am and our greeters will assist you in finding a class. We have classes for all ages. Classes start every Sunday at 9:15am. (2) Call (850-893-0893) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Rick Stewart. Rick is our Discipleship Pastor. He has a passion for small groups, too. He’d love to talk with you and help you find your way to a class. (3) Assimilate into the life and ministry of Bradfordville by establishing friendships and finding a place of ministry. One of the best ways to do this is by sitting in circles. And that takes place every Sunday morning in Sunday School.
I hope to see you this Sunday sitting in circles (Sunday School) and in rows (worship). May God continue to reveal His glory at Bradfordville!
Celebrating God’s Presence and Activity,