As my wife and I are discussing the idea of starting to meet with another couple for fellowship, I thought that I'd start putting some ideas together here for why we are meeting and what we could do when we could meet together.
In the past, I've been a part of many "Bible studies" that mainly focused on "studying the Bible". I'm burned out with that whole concept. I believe that the focus is wrong. The purpose of a small group should not be to study a book, any book. Instead, the purpose should be to help one another live out the life. The book can be a help, but it shou.d not be a focus. For example. Think about when we all started to learn how to drive a car. One of the important things we did was to study the driver's manual. The purpose of studying the book was to learn the laws and rules of the road about driving. Connect that with some practice and then we were ready to take out our driving test. Assuming that we passed the test. Then we drive out car according to the rules and laws that we learned from the driving manual. Nows hes the corelation; After receiving your driver's license keep studying and memoriing your driver's manual for the rest of your life? Hopefully you continue to drive according to what you learned from the book, but you do not contiually refer back to it. In stead you just drive your car. You get better at driving your car the longer you drive. However drivers can get together to motivate each other become better drivers. This sometimes happens when drivers disregard the rules of the road by driving drunk or speeding or driving recklessly.
This brings us to the purpose of getting together. "All men will know you are disciples by your love for one another." John 13:35 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:24
Love is our primary command. How can we show the love of God to others if we don't know how to love one another. In all the Bible studies and religious meetings that I have went to ove rthe years, this is the missing focus. Now, how do we love one another? Love has to be learned, just like driving a car. We must learn the basics and then we need to put it into practice.
When we realize that our purose is not to study a particular book, but to to learn and put into practice how to truly love and to live a godly life, then we are set free to use whatever methods or materials that would be helpful. This would include finding or leaning about godly men and women to use as examples.