We all know that studying the Bible on your own is foundational to the Christian life. But how important is it to do it together? If leading or attending a small group Bible study sounds like an unnecessary commitment to you or members of your congregation, here are six benefits to consider:
1. It follows Jesus’ example
As believers, we seek to follow Jesus’ example in all things. Although Jesus preached often to large crowds, he chose to empower and prepare his followers for ministry in a small group setting. The early church continued with this discipleship model; Acts 2:42 tells us that first generation believers met in homes and “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship.”
2. It directs us in wisdom
The Bible is a roadmap for life! It contains ‘everything we need for life and godliness’ (2 Peter 1:3). Yet just as sometimes we need someone to help us read a map, we benefit from others’ experience of digging deep in God’s Word. They will have found gems of wisdom that we have not yet discovered. We can offer insights that they have not yet learned. This is the beauty of journeying through the Bible together.
3. It creates meaningful connections
Humans were not designed to be alone. We were made to be dependent on God first, but also on one another. In an increasingly virtual world – where social media interactions can often be superficial and increase feelings of isolation – small group Bible study offers a powerful means of forging deep and life-giving connections with other believers.
4. It provides necessary encouragement
The group study context also provides a safe space for members to share their struggles. Witnessing the faith of another believer encourages us to keep going when things get tough (Romans 1:12); gives us the opportunity to comfort those in trouble ‘with the comfort we ourselves have received from God (2 Cor 1:4); and enriches us as we hear how God has strengthened, guided and directed others throughout their lives.
5. It keeps us accountable
Small groups offer the optimal environment for meaningful belief and behavior change. Every believer requires others to help them understand biblical truth and how to apply it. All of us need our knowledge sharpened, blind spots in our thinking corrected, and resistance to changes in our behavior challenged. We mature much more quickly in our faith when we can ask one another questions like, ‘What steps are you taking to change that?’ and, ‘How did that go for you this week?’ Accountability leads to more fruitful application of truth.
6. It transforms our families, workplaces and communities
We read, He speaks and we are transformed. When we study the Bible together, God promises to reveal Himself, to teach us how to obey Him, and to show us how to love one another. When we are changed to become more like Jesus, our family, workplaces and communities will be eternally impacted.
Can you think of people in your community or congregation that need to experience such transformation? WordGo—created by Bible Study Fellowship—makes group Bible study easy. The app provides a free and simple way to run a Bible study with your friends and community either online or in person. Offering customizable Bible study plans, planning tools and trusted commentary, WordGo (WordGo.org) brings people together and inspires meaningful discussion. Chances are you know someone eager to join you in delving into Scripture, so what are you waiting for?
WordGo is created and supported by Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). BSF has been enhancing and resourcing in-depth Bible study since the early 1960s and currently serves 400,000 people across 180 countries. The ad-free, app-based program can be downloaded in the app store or by visiting wordgo.org.