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There are several types of small group Bible studies. The most common type is Bible Fellowship. I still sometimes call it Sunday School but somewhere along the way, somebody thought the name “Bible Fellowship” worked better. It’s the same thing. Small groups meet at church either before or after the main worship service to study the Bible and “fellowship” together. We always have food in our Bible Fellowship class so that makes the fellowship official. It’s a Baptist church, after all. 🙂
Another type of small group Bible study is a discipleship group. Discipleship groups usually meet at sometime other than before or after the main Sunday morning worship service. They can meet on Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, or any other night of the week – whatever works best for the group. Discipleship groups generally focus on a specific topic for a pre-determined number of weeks. Then, when the study is done, they start over again with a different topic of study and/or an entirely different group of people. Other types of small group Bible studies include women’s studies, men’s studies, and youth studies.
Now that you know a little bit about the different types of small group Bible studies, let’s talk about the reason it is important to get involved in some type of small group Bible study.
Remember the graphic from yesterday? We are looking at three areas of growth in the Christian life. The first area in the first circle is “worship.” We are to gather together in worship. Now look at the next circle, the big on in the middle. The middle circle represents small group Bible studies such as Bible Fellowship and Discipleship groups. Getting involved in a small group Bible study is a great way to get plugged into your church fellowship, as represented by the smaller circle at the top – the one with the plug in it. Get it? 🙂
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And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ. – Acts 5:42Notice they went from “house to house?” They kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ both in the temple and from “house to house.”
Small Group Bible Study Guards Us Against Isolation
Isolation is not encouraged in scripture except for particular times of prayer. Jesus spent most of is time with people. He was only alone when He prayed.
He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom. – Proverbs 18:1.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12Isolation is dangerous. If there is an addiction, a person will not get over it alone. We ALL need encouragement. We need to be around people of God.
Small Group Bible Study Groups Support Us During Hardships
After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” – Acts 14:21-22
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Small Group Bible Study Groups Grow Us Through Discipleship
We grow in Christ when we get together with other believers. We are never completely mature. We always have growing to do. There are 4 stages of spiritual development.
The Infant Stage: This is a brand new believer. Someone who has been a Christian for a long time can also be in this infant stage. We stay in the infant stage when we neglect to grow in Christ.
The Child Stage: In this stage, a believer is beginning to grow. He or she is starting to apply God’s Word to his or her life.
The Young Adult Stage: During this stage, the believer is developing a deeper relationship with Jesus. He or she is nurturing a deeper understanding of God’s Word. The spiritual young adult realized that God has made him or her for a purpose.
The Parent Stage: The spiritual parent has reached a stage of maturity which allows him or her to disciple others.
Small Group Bible Study Bible Study Groups Sharpen Us with Accountability
We, as believers, should welcome accountability. Living without accountability can be compared to traveling down a dangerous mountain road without guardrails.
At the end of his sermon, our pastor asked us a very important question. Now let me ask you:
If your life ends this week, maybe even today, do you know for certain that you will be with Jesus?
We are never promised tomorrow. Earlier this week, thousands of people got out of bed and got dressed. They probably took great care to pick out special clothes for that day. They were excited. They needed to dress appropriately for that evening because they were going to attend a concert in Las Vegas. While they were preparing for the evening, I doubt any of them thought for a single second that someone would open fire on them, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others. Some of them were prepared to meet Jesus. Others were not. Are you ready? If you’re not sure, click here.
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