Today we are focusing on the teaching aspect of Bible study ministry. I'm not necessarily talking about delivery or style, lecture or discussion. What we are talking about today is content. In a just completed survey of Christians who attend Southern Baptist churches in Oklahoma, 11% of the respondents indicated that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baptists all worship the same God. 29% of respondents revealed God is kind of like an energy source! These are not people who are unchurched, this survey was with church-going Christians!
I was recently eavesdropping on a Bible study group studying the topic of faith. At the end of the lesson the teacher asked an excellent question: "How does do you express your faith in your everyday life?" The Bible study group "spiritualized" their responses. "Well, when Abraham showed his faith by be willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac." "Joshua showed his faith by leading the people into the promised land." The teacher reasserted his excellent question. "But, how do you express your faith?" Silence.
We must help the people in our groups understand that their small group is not a self-help study, that the Bible is not a 12 step manual, and that true Bible study always brings depth of content and character to a person's soul. Real Bible study should express itself in real results, not living out your faith through someone else. Knowing not just what we believe but why we believe it is critical if we are going to be ambassadors of the gospel to our neighbors and work associates who do not know Jesus personally.
This Sunday, press your class to share how the group's Bible study touches their soul. Encourage your group not to "spiritualize" the aim of the study, but to state how they will implement the study in concrete terms.