Your church is advertising an upcoming Bible study. Do you jump at the chance? Or are you afraid your expectations will be met?
I’m no expert on these things, but I’ve come to the conclusion that, by and large, Christians today are afraid of Bible studies. It is an unusual and ironic phenomenon, to be sure. Folks, something’s amiss when Christians are repulsed by the thought of attending a Bible study. Perhaps busyness is the culprit, or perhaps absence of vision for how this might actually change their life. But I venture to say, one primary deterrent is fear.
These people have attended Bible studies, and they know. They’ll be required to buy a $20 book (a book about the Bible, which is apparently how this qualifies as “Bible study”). They’ll do the daily devotional reading and check it off the list. Then they’ll get together with people they don’t know, watch an impersonal video clip, talk about the speaker’s opinion on the Bible, and leave with a homework assignment fit for a first-grader. It’ll be just like every other class or group meeting they’ve ever attended, but with a load of Christianese and some bookend prayers.
And if this is “Bible study,” I’m afraid, too.
I’m afraid Christians aren’t being weaned and fed and nourished. I’m afraid they’re not being equipped and taught and discipled. I’m afraid they’ll go right back where they started – to a malnutritioned Word life.
So in our Bible studies, let’s study the Bible.
Let’s dive deep into the ocean of glorious truth, and let’s encounter a thousand ways how. Together, let’s explore and chat and ponder and know and live until the earth-shattering experience produces such a profound enlightenment into the splendors of Scripture that the Bible study signup sheets are full.
May fear be not the thing that drives us away from a life in the Word, but the thing that drives us to it.
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