Why Does Small Group Bible Study Matter?
Getting involved in a small group or Bible study can help enrich our lives as Christians and develop our faith. For some, joining a small group can seem intimidating, time consuming, or simply not important compared to other obligations. Life is busy with our families, careers, and the long list of tasks we are responsible for. Committing to a small group may often fall at the bottom of one’s list of priorities for a variety of reasons. You may wonder if being part of a small group is worth it.
But, people who are part of small groups feel more connected to their church, find ways to serve, and have a support system they can depend on for prayer and encouragement. When we look to the Bible, we find guidance and insight into the significance and benefits of being part of a godly community of believers.
Early Church Believers Gathered Together
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).
The early church is quite an inspiration and provides us with rich wisdom and examples about how to connect with other believers and how to be the body of Christ. This passage in Acts gives us a beautiful illustration of the unity and harmony that can be found among believers, and what we should strive for today. God’s word reminds us that we should worship together, eat and fellowship with one another, and enjoy the company of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is truly an honor to be part of the body of Christ, and when we are together, we bring honor and glory to the Lord.
Naturally, we desire friendships and companionship. We are prompted in the Bible to commune with other believers. Being part of a small group can be the answer to your prayers for relationships with people who share a deep love for Jesus.
We Aren’t Called to Face Life Alone
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
Long before Jesus walked this earth, the same wise message was shared with those who followed God: companionship is necessary and part of God’s design for humanity. We weren’t meant to go through life alone. When we feel isolated and lonely, pursuing godly friendships can be the way out. Being part of a small group can give you the connection you long for, and the support you need when you go through troubles, setbacks, or trials.
As we journey through life, and especially when we face battles, having fellow Christians to support us in prayer and presence can make all the difference. A small group can be the shoulder to lean on, or the hand to hold when we’re going through a difficult situation or need biblical counsel. God is our source and strength, and He oftentimes uses other believers to bring us renewed hope and peace when times are tough.
Community will Challenge and Grow You
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
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Other believers can walk with us as we grow and transform spiritually. One of the main points of being part of a small group is to encourage each other in faith and to help one another live more righteously. In a small group setting, you can discuss more about what you’ve heard in the Sunday morning sermons and what you’re learning about God. As a group, you get to dig into God’s word or read Christian books that give further insight into faith and how to pursue a deeper relationship with the Lord.
We need other Christians in our lives to challenge us, support us, and help us understand what it means to live a life for Jesus. We cannot sharpen ourselves, we need others to do that. The Holy Spirit works through other believers to help refine us, and a small group is often the ideal place for real and lasting spiritual transformation to take place.
Encourage and Be Encouraged
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
We read in Hebrews that we shouldn’t give up meeting together as believers, but to keep this spiritual practice alive because there is purpose to believers coming together. Just as we help sharpen each other, when believers come together, we point each other toward a life of love and goodness. Being in a small group will motivate you to be more loving toward others. It will leave you filled up and ready to do good works of faith. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of the Bible as you study it with other believers and be able to apply it to your life; how you think, act, and what you say.
When you become part of a small group, you will have a chance to not only be encouraged, but to encourage others who are wanting to deepen their faith and live faithfully. You will get the chance to pour into other Christians who are looking for genuine community and fellowship. As God strengthens and empowers us, we are able to invest in others and point them in the direction of a solid relationship with Jesus.
God Will Be with Your Group
“For where two or three gather together in my name, there I am with them” (Matthew 18:20).
What an incredible promise of God’s presence. God blesses us with His amazing presence when believers gather together in His name. He will be in the midst. A small group meeting allows for prayers to be lifted up, for the report of answered prayers to be shared, and for communal worship to take place, all in the presence of the Spirit of the Lord. Small groups may often find ways to serve the community or those who are in need. When there are two or more, God will be in the midst as a small group serves to make a positive and lasting impact in Jesus’ name.
A theme consistent throughout Scripture is that being in community with other believers is truly important in our lives. Joining a small group or Bible study brings plenty of benefits and is a way to fulfill the innate desire to be connected to others and have authentic friendships with Christians. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming part of a small group at your church, consider these benefits and how the Bible instructs us and gives us wisdom about being part of an intentional community of believers.
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Pamela Palmer is a writer, speaker, and the founder of upheldlife.com, the platform on which she produces devotionals and faith resources to inspire keeping faith at the center of life. She is in pastoral ministry and gets to share in the emotional and spiritual lives of others. She lives and thrives on Jesus, coffee, and music. She is the author of Living a Deeper Faith: Nurture Your Relationship with God and Live a Faith-Fueled Life. Pamela married the perfect man for her and they have two beautiful kiddos. She has been published on herviewfromhome.com, and you can follow her at upheldlife.com or on Facebook.com/upheldlife.