Posted on: 3 February 2016
Participating in a Bible study group can be a rewarding experience. Not only can it help you grow spiritually, but it can be a great way to make new friends and fellowship with other believers of like faith.
However, not every Bible study group is a good fit for you and your individual needs. Asking yourself a few questions before you sign up to participate in a Bible study group will help you determine if a particular group is a good fit for you.
What is your reason for joining a group?
Are you interested in serious Bible study where you want to dig into the scriptures and learn about Bible theology? If so, you should look for a group where there is minimal socializing and where the focus is strictly on learning.
If your goal is to make new friends and fellowship while studying the Bible, you should select a group that allows time extra time for socializing. These groups often have a time of sharing individual prayer requests before the meeting. Snacks are served, and members may occasionally meet at a local restaurant for dinner.
If you are seeking a group that focuses on gender-specific issues, you should look for a group that is designed only for men or women rather than a combined group. These groups focus on issues experienced by men or women exclusively. They are best if you don't feel comfortable in a mixed group or if you desire to overcome personal struggles specific to your gender.
What time commitment is required?
You should ask the leader of the Bible study group how long the meetings typically last and if they adhere to a strict schedule regarding start and finish times. You should also ask if there are weekly homework and reading assignments to complete.
Serious study groups are likely to have more of a daily time requirement. Homework can be extensive and may require an hour or more a day to complete. However, meeting times will typically be more structured because there is less socializing taking place.
Groups that combine socializing and study are more likely to run longer during meeting times. However, the homework commitment may be minimal to none. Some less structured groups do all study lesson work together at the meeting rather than individually.
Gender-specific groups may require a longer time commitment for meetings. Allowing members to share personal issues is something that can't be rushed. Additional time should be allotted for encouraging members who are asking for help or struggling to overcome a specific problem.
What is the financial commitment?
You should ask the group leader what resources you will need to purchase. While some churches may supply Bible study books and other resources, some may require you to purchase your own. Ask about the cost of the Bible study book and if you will need other materials, such as a Bible concordance or Bible commentary book, to complete your study lessons.
Be up front about other costs. Ask if you will be required to bring food or snacks to the meeting to share with the group. Ask if the group has dinner out on a regular basis or participates in a gift exchange during the holidays.
For more information, contact New Gethsemane Baptist Church or a similar organization.Share