Why We Lead "Valuable Bible Study"
What do we want for the people we lead?
- Do we want them to become healthy, functional adults by learning new skills? Ok, sometimes I really want that.
- Do we want them to understand how to make wise decisions that honor God and their loved ones? Yes, I really want that too.
- Do we want them to live happier and be ready to take on life? Oh man, I do want this.
- Or, more than anything else, do we want them to encounter Jesus?
This is what we want above all. All those other things are valuable, but they are not the reason nor the power behind our ministry. It is not my words of wisdom nor my hopes for their future that these dear people need. They need is to meet with Jesus.
Thus, we bring them to the Bible. We lead, plan, organize, and create small group Bible studies, so that those we care for can engage in the Scriptures together. It is there that they can meet with God, hear from him and respond. We know we can meet with Jesus through his Word and his Spirit.
With all the things that we could do in our ministries, we prioritize Bible study because of what we believe about the Bible, about community, and about transformation.
What We Believe about the Bible Changes Everything
The Bible is God’s Word for us, though written in another time and originally read by others. Yet, it is the message God has for us. Each person can read the Bible and understand it. Each person who walks into our ministry has access to God’s message to them through its pages, and we want them to know that!
The Bible isn’t mysteriously covert in its meaning, nor is it a code we need a codex to discover. Yet, we do need to interpret it in the context it was written, to know what God was communicating through the original author, so that we can apply it to ourselves and others rightly.
To do interpretation well in the Bible studies we, the leaders, learn about the Bible . We do this by picking curriculum from equipped teachers, by using good commentaries, and by getting further training ourselves. We learn about the poetry and the narratives. We learn about the history. We learn about how to pay attention to what is being said. And as we study, we see the big picture of the passage always pointing us to our need for Jesus or the provision of Jesus. He is the center of the Scriptures, so we encounter him and his grace each time.
Interpretation of the Scriptures is modeled in Bible study, so that people grasp how to read the Bible for themselves every day of their lives. Our discussions and the questions we ask teach how to read and value the best of books.
What We Believe about Community Changes Everything
We need each other. As Christians, we were designed to be part of the body of Christ, pieces that fit together to survive and serve. The necessity of others proves itself in Bible study. We need help interpreting wisely. We need help applying it wisely. And we need humility to walk with others as we do this.
It is God’s Holy Spirit who illuminates the Bible for us to understand it, and in community we are helped by the Spirit’s work in others. It is the Bible that commands us, and the Spirit who gifts us to exhort, teach, and encourage. In his power, we are ministers of the Word to each other. Where else can we do this well other than in small group Bible studies? This is where we can obey and serve each other.
What We Believe about Transformation Changes Everything
We want people to know that God’s Word addresses the mess of our lives, including every part of us and where we are today. It helps us think about our relationships, fears, finances, and sexuality. It points us to wisdom, and chiefly, it points us to the Author of all wisdom. It reveals our brokenness and our only Hope of rescue. The words are not magical, but they bring transformation because the message comes from God himself.
We don’t master the Bible. We don’t become experts who have moved on to better things (whatever that would be…). We come to God’s Word with humility, so that it masters us. Together in Bible study groups, we can move through the Scriptures reminding each other how to receive the message and apply it to our lives. We are not academics who analyze, but we are followers who abide and apply. God has promised to transform us as we learn from him!
Valuable Bible Study
We labor over Bible studies, because we believe the Bible is the Word of God for us. Community is where we learn and grow the best. And transformation is the purpose, coming from the message of God in the Scriptures .
We think it’s so important that at the Verity Forum we will have a workshop track called Valuable Bible Study. In in those workshops we will talk about the vision, discussion leading, choosing curriculum, and writing Bible studies. It’s just the place to sharpen your skills on leading small groups into God’s Word.
The Verity Forum is our spring event on May 7th, 2016. You can read more about the Verity Forum workshops on our events page where you will also find the downloadable media from the event.