One of my goals this year is to try to study with some people that I might not typically run across — people that hold different religious beliefs than I do. I’ve come up with an idea that I’m going to start in a week or two, and I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts about it. Good/bad idea, types of results I should expect, etc.
I’ve already talked to the other men in my congregation, and we’ve decided that we’re going to have a weekly bible study on Thursday nights that tries to be a little more informal than a typical “Wednesday night bible study.” I still plan to have it at our church building, because it’s a pretty convenient location for our community, and it’s always available. The bible study would start around 7 or 7:30, I’m thinking we’ll arrange some chairs around in a circle to encourage participation, and go from there. Of course, I plan to always have some material prepared, but I want it to be a flexible enough study to get off on questions or topics that people might bring up. While anyone from the congregation I attend is welcome to come, I’m really hoping that we can drum up some interest from other spiritually-minded people in the community. I plan to post fliers around town… the whole nine yards.
What do you think? Have any of you tried something like this before… or do you know of a better idea?
8 thoughts on “Bible Study Idea”
Nate, I think a bible study is a great ideal. One suggestion I would offer is that a study of The New Covenant (New Testament) and how Christians should grow spiritually. See Hebrews 5:11-14, Hebrews 6:1-3). I believe its time we break free of the tradtions and commandments of men and grow up.
What do you think?
Nate, I think you will have to be very careful. It is easy to lose control of the study if it is an unstructured affair. Make sure you have some ground rules well established and that scripture is used as a basis for everything. Having it at the building gives more “Weight” to the discussions, if you know what I mean, so make sure error is not allowed to go unchecked. Also, just an open discussion without focusing on a particular subject or passage may not be very productive. The tendancy is to jump all over the place and never reach any resolution. Having said all this, let me say I commend your willingness to do this and I wish you luck.
Thanks for the comments.
Earl, I agree with you. I believe that as Christians, we are only under the New Law, and I think a lack of spiritual growth is one of the biggest pitfalls that we often fall into as Christians.
And thanks Dad, for your thoughts as well. I’m actually planning on continuing a study in the book of Luke that I had been involved in with some other people. I definitely want to have something planned for every class so we don’t just sit there and waste time. But as things come up, or if someone has some questions, I’d like to keep the study open enough for us to talk about some of those issues.
Also, I certainly don’t want the study to turn into such an open forum that just anyone is allowed to dominate the discussion, or spout out a lot of false doctrine. But of course, I also want to encourage participation as much as possible, so I’ll have to work hard to keep the proper balance.
The real drive behind this thing is in hoping that we can draw in some people who wouldn’t normally stop in for our regualr bible study. Several weeks ago, I was in one of my classes at UAB and saw a flier where someone was having a weekly bible study in Southside. Unfortunately, it was at a time that I couldn’t make, but I realized that there was nothing keeping me from trying that in our area. The church building is the best place I could think of that would be convenient for people, but I still worry that people won’t try it out just because of where it is. But we’ll see. I know my brother-in-law has access to one of those little “community rooms” in his neighborhood, so we can always try to move it there, if we need to.
Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. I’ll do a post once we’ve had a few meetings and let you know how it’s going.
Great idea… may I suggest a table (round if you want to keep the whole inviting thing going).
If discussion and in depth bible study is the focus a table is a must. It allows people to place their study materials on it, as well as allowing people to lean… chairs without a table is just not as convenient when study is involved.
Just a thought 🙂
Hey Nathan. It’s always good to hear about people wanting to do Bible studies. Your dad had some great points. I just wanted to add that if you do have some people from the community come out, you may want to do a lesson on authority early on. A group can’t get far in a study if they don’t agree on the fact that authority comes from God’s scripture only, not from personal convictions or feelings, the Pope or other church “officials”, or church creeds. Good luck with your studies!
I am a newcomer to this site and blogging in general. I am so used to debating atheists on You Tube that it is a pleasure to discuss the Bible with those who already understand and believe. It has been a while since you posted your comments (last January). I wish more people were responding to this. I study the Bible on my own and wish I belonged to a study group, but for various reasons (health and lack of finding a truly objective group) I do not. I am curious as to how your idea is working out. I respect what others have said. I personally have a simple view on this. For me, Jesus’ words and the proof of history/prophecy create, for me, a faith/belief so complete that all my studying of the Bible has inevitably enhanced my faith. As a student of world history I can say that there is no other book like the Bible on the planet. It is astonishing in its explanation of life itself. One can be as objective as possible in studying it and still see this. Fear not that discussions with others in new settings will disprove this. There is such overwhelming Truth in the Bible. I would say that you should be a bit cautious – as we all should – but that this is only natural. We are all in the same boat. We have our faith but want to know more. To listen to those who have great insights and experiences to share with us is good, but we also need to not allow ourselves to be subject to anyone who is too rigid. Bottom line: we should trust in Jesus. He is ‘the way, the [Truth], and the life’. He is the answer. Trust and follow Him and you will never go wrong. He was so unequivocal in explaining who He was. I have had nothing but success in my venture in understanding this in all its fullness. I wish you all the best.
Kendra and Danny,
Thanks for your thoughts on this. I really appreciate the encouragement. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to get this off the ground yet. I’m taking 3 classes right now, in addition to my full-time work and my family commitments, and all of it has taken more of my time than I had hoped. One of the main reasons for that is my Thursday nights got filled up with school stuff. Turns out, one of my classes is very group-intensive, and I’ve had to set aside Thursdays to meet with them, even though our class meets on Mondays. Even though that’s been a let down, this semester will be over by the beginning of May, and I plan to start up this Bible study then.
And Danny, thanks for checking out the blog. I appreciate your comments. You’re right, I haven’t posted in quite a while, but again, that’s mostly due to being so busy lately. I hope to get back to it very soon. Please keep checking back!
I see I’ve arrived at this party late. Now you’re done with school, but have a new baby. Always busy. I know.
This is a good idea. As everyone has said caution should be observed – I know you know that as well. I thought that Kendra had a good idea of lesson on authority, setting the ground rules. In the class evrything should be with the idea that we should speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is silent. Taking the bridge that we know wont fail – that sort of thing. Standing soley on the Word of God and what we can prove by it.
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