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Small Group Bible Study and Its Importance in Early Christianity and Today

June 11, 2018

Small Group Bible Study and Its Importance in Early Christianity and Today

In the webinar, “The Keys to a Successful Small Group Campaign,” author of the Christian Life Trilogy, The Rev. Charlie Holt discussed “What is a Christian Life Trilogy Campaign & What Does Small Group Bible Study Look Like?” Rev. Holt talked about the importance of small group Bible study throughout Scripture and early Christianity, and how it helps us further our transformation. To check out the video of the webinar, click here!

The Early Church

These were the practices of the early Christians, the people who had just devoted their lives to Jesus. As a new church they were committed to:
  • Spending time together, devoting themselves the apostles’ teaching in the study of the Scriptures.
  • Fellowship, gathering together.
  • Breaking bread together, meeting in each other’s homes to share in communion.
  • Prayer!

A main observance in the early church was to congregate in the temple courts and then gather in small groups, in homes to continue in the fellowship of the Lord. Early Christians used these small group gatherings to praise God and enjoy each other’s presence. A critical component since the beginning of the founding of the church. And as they did that, “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved!”

We All Have A Small Group!

Friends, Family, Fellowship, Fun, and Firm!

Who are people you would love to spend a little more time with, in a home or online, reflecting on the Christian faith and Christian life and do life together with. Maybe you could list out the people you would like to bring together. We all have people we would like to know better, and spend more time with. Gathering to study Scripture is a great way to deepen relationships with each other and God. You might be surprised how much a small group can build into a great bond.

Story of Mary and Martha

Martha opened her home to Jesus, in the same way we would open our homes to a small group Bible study. Martha was frustrated with her sister, Mary, because she wasn’t helping her to prepare. However, Mary was focusing the thing we should all focus on in small group study, listening to and learning from the Lord. We can get wrapped up in the details and preparations, becoming distracted from our discipleship. We think we must entertain the people we wish to gather with; this can be discouraging and cause us to refuse to open our homes.  You need not “entertain,” for everyone who has joined you wants to learn more from the Scriptures, grow through discussion, and spend time together. If you get too distracted, it will take away from the growth you and your group can achieve together. Remember to keep things simple, prepare lightly, and focus on the fellowship and study. When Rev. Holt and his wife host small group studies, they will often present water and maybe a simple tray of cheese and crackers. This is all you need to prepare your home for a wonderful study among people who share the same love for Christ.

The Great Commission

Jesus tells us to make disciples of all nations, which is part of the reason it is so important to have small group study. This is the way Jesus built his following, he gathered a group of 12 people, spent time with them, did life with them, and over time they were able to learn and grow through him. He invites us to use the same model. And as we do this, He promises to be with us, always.

Why We Need Small Groups

Creating small groups, outside of large group gatherings, helps to build discipleship and greater connection with the Body of Christ. Small groups lead to intimate discussion and deeper fellowship, as we get to know one another. As a church gets bigger, you must get small. Meeting in homes is a great way to do that!

However, even in circumstances when in-home groups aren't possible, small groups can still meet creatively to encourage each other and do the Christian life together. Our Online Community is a great place for believers to gather to study the Bible and discuss its application in everyday life.

What is the Benefit of Small Group Bible Study?

Small groups lead to transformation. Building intimate friendships, learning about faith, becoming a people of prayer and study, and connecting to God.

  • Increased participation and connection with one another.
  • Increase in spiritual growth. Friendships grow as we begin to speak love and truths to one another.
  • Increase attendance. You start to look forward to worshiping in a large group, even more, with the friends you’ve made in a small group.
  • Increase in serving. Small groups create an outlet for ministry, planning and serving the community together.
  • Increase in giving. Teaches us how to be unselfish people, leading to a more generous life modeled through transformation with the help of your small group friendships.

Learn more about small group leadership in our Leader Training Series. It covers things like “The Things of First Importance,” which goes into further detail about the themes of The Christian Life Trilogy and the transformation brought on by the in-depth study. It also covers “Aligning Your Church and Planning for Small Group Study,” where we will help you understand the importance of aligning the study of your church and how to organize your small group campaign. If you have more questions about the benefits and purpose of small group Bible study, please reach out to us.




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