This morning I wrapped up another year of leading a Bible study group at my church. We’ve spent almost every Wednesday morning digging into the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. Bible study is an important spiritual discipline if you’re a Christian, but I really find that the value of a group study goes so much deeper than gaining knowledge about the Bible, or whatever book you may be studying.
As I reflect on our year together, I recall conversations that took us to unexpected places. Seeing something that I read from a totally different viewpoint because the person sitting across the table from me had a different life experience than I did. Some conversations were about the Scripture readings. Some were not. I saw friendships develop and deepen. I watched women hold space for each other and allow someone to cry when they needed it and offer words of encouragement. I got to experience belly laughs. And collectively cheer other women on as they took big steps or went on new adventures. And food. (Who can forget the food?)
Much like the importance of community that I shared last week, small groups bring us together to pray for and with each other, to experience new spiritual practices in a safe space, to grapple with hard questions, and to affirm our faith.
Small groups have the magic of building relationships, and I believe that is the heart of growing in your life and faith. I was richly blessed to have this wonderful experience and can’t wait to participate in another small group next year.