Friday, March 17, 2017

Small-Group Bible Study Based on Relationship ("Who", Not "What", We Know)

Today’s church has tried to reach people for Christ in our communities with extravagant church programs and 21st century methodology. While such methods have their place, they can never be a substitute for personal relationships formed in the context of genuine Christian community like the early church demonstrated when they met in small groups.

God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26). The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have always experienced relationship. They are one. Shouldn’t we experience the same in the church? God created Adam with the need for relationship; He said it was not good for him to be alone (see Genesis 2:18). Adam saw his need for relationship. Relationship is an established life pattern. In the church, leadership is a function put in place to help us flow together as God’s people.

Even from the earliest of biblical times, God worked through spiritual family relationships. In Exodus 18:13-26, Moses receives wise advice from Jethro, his father-in-law, to release God’s people into accountability groups to empower people to minister. He indicated there should be groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. From the very beginning, God had a plan to ease the load for leaders and keep them from burning out.

When God established His own people on the earth, He established them in tribes, clans and families. This was to ensure that every human being had a connection – an identity and relationship. The Hebrews’ thought patterns were relational in nature. They thought along the lines of realizing they were in relationship because of who they knew. Malaysians’ thought is almost the same as the Hebrews’, but because of the influence of Greek thought or Western thought worldview today, our thought became more information-based. We thought that we are brought into relationship with others because of what we know. In Christianity, our model of relationship with one another is based upon who [Jesus Christ] we know, not so much about what we know about Him (though it is also important to know what). 

Thus, small group Bible Study should be based on who we know – Jesus Christ, the Word of God.


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