Here at Assembly of Called-Out Believers, we want to help people learn to study the Bible. In a good small forum Bible study, you will mature and you’ll have the chance to help others grow.
If you’re not already in a small group Bible study, consider joining one of ours. I can think of at least three reasons.
- Small group Bible studies help you study the Bible. We all need as much time with the Bible as possible, and a small group gives you extra exposure every week or so. Within your group you can (hopefully) find good examples of Bible study; this will accelerate your development and strengthen your OIA muscles. A good leader will ask questions that lead your group through the observation–interpretation–application process and help you to advance in each area
- Small group Bible studies remind you that you need other people. God has made us as relational, social beings who thrive in community. Because of our sin, relationships can be difficult, but without other people we shrivel up and dry out. We need contact with others from different ages and life situations to appreciate God’s faithful and diverse working throughout the church. I love listening to older saints recount God’s consistent companionship, encouragement, and correction over the years.
Small group Bible studies remind you that you need other people to study the Bible. I’ve written before that we need community to apply the Bible. But this isn’t just true for application. Fellow Christians also help us observe the important aspects of a Bible passage and interpret correctly. We need others to help us see what is true in the Bible—to sharpen, clarify, and correct what we think.
In the same way that you need others, others also need you. Armed with solid Bible study principles, you can serve as an example or mentor for others in your small group.
Finally, Bible study within a small group has a dynamic you cannot reproduce on your own. As you participate in discussion and share ideas, you take advantage of interaction, one of the distinctives of the setting.