The Bible has numerous “one another passages” which include “love one another” and “be kind to one another,” and the Bible admonishes us to be of the same mind (mind of Christ). In order to love one another, we need to know one another, so we can be kind and respectful of one another.
In a group Bible Study, you are not teaching a lesson rather you are teaching people. Therefore, a wise leader gets to know the needs of the people so as to minister them to and teach them the Bible. Also, through a better knowledge of the people you will be able to match their gifts and abilities to needs in and beyond the group. Keep in mind that your group is attached to a larger group (the church) and should be responsive to all needs.
WHAT DO I DO?
- Interview Leaders
Your group will be healthier when it is connected to the larger group. You are not trying to create community apart from the church, but to better serve the church. Interview leaders to determine the needs and goals of the church. Discuss how your group can be a part of meeting these needs and working toward the goals.
- Involve the Group
Your group members may have several unmet needs as well. They may desire greater fellowship, more involvement in missions, or more effective ministry. Too many times leaders develop tunnel vision (I’m here to teach) and fail to focus on group health. Teachers do need to discern how to “speak the truth in love,” but Ephesians 4 reminds leaders that this is done to strengthen the body so it “grows and builds itself up in love.” Growth comes from knowledge and application.
- Invest in Members
Sometimes individuals will not share in a group those things that are personal. Occasionally a members leaves the group because the basic needs of belonging or serving were not met. Leaders must invest time in getting to know group members on a personal level. It is important to know where they are on their spiritual journey and in their personal life. Not all needs can be met, but they should have a true experience of “one another” living.
When needs are discovered on all levels, then the leader can guide the group toward goal setting.