- January 24, 2017
- Christian Living
As a new year begins, many churches start to advertise for upcoming sermon series, conferences, and Christian Bible studies that are geared toward helping the members of a congregation become stronger believers.
Whether it’s a men’s conference, Beth Moore Bible study, Financial Peace University, or anything else, there’s a good chance that events like these will help you to become a better church member and Christian. How helpful these events are depends somewhat on how much you put into them as a participant. Let’s talk about a few of the ways that you can get the most out of Christian Bible studies.
Read the Material
Do you know one of the easiest ways to get behind in a Bible study? Forgetting to read the material. This may seem like an obvious tip, but anyone who has taken part in one of these studies knows that life often gets in the way of the lesson plan.
This isn’t just a problem with Christian Bible studies, though, Our daily routines often keep us seemingly too busy to take part in a book club, cooking class, or a variety of other tasks the way that we would like to indulge ourselves. When it comes to Bible studies at church, discipleship groups, etc., we need to take the time to fully involve ourselves in the available resources.
“But I don’t have the time!”
The truth is that we do have the time, it’s just a matter of priorities. Most church studies are one day each week. This means we have a full week to read what is usually a half hour of reading at most. No one is asking you to read extra material, though you can freely do that if you have the time.
Making time for a weekly reading can be done by adding the book/Scripture into your already-existent quiet time. You can also take advantage of your lunch break at work or wake up a few minutes early. Whatever plan works best for you, taking the time to read the material for your Bible study will benefit you greatly.
Get Involved in Your Christian Bible Studies
The next step is somewhat related to the first: get involved in your bible study. Attendance is the least you can invest into a study. It’s great that you are willing to further your knowledge by signing up for a class, but quietly sitting by yourself in the back every week is not taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Being vocal is the quickest way to become more involved in a Bible study. When something doesn’t make sense, ask a question. Be the person who offers an answer to an open question to the group. Lessons like these tend to run more smoothly if people are willing to put themselves out there. Of course, you also want to be careful not to control the room. Bible studies are not just about you, so be considerate of others.
Speaking of others, don’t be afraid to make a couple of friends in these studies. If you go to a bigger church, there’s a good chance that you don’t know several people in the room. This is a great opportunity for actively engaging in fellowship. Not only do you feel more attached to the study because your friends are there, but you might be the first person at the church to really reach out to that person.
When a group of people are engaging in a Bible study together, it makes the overall experience richer. By taking advantage of these special events, you can build a stronger bond for the whole church and increase the likelihood of future events.
Highlight, Highlight, Highlight
This is Bible Study 101. Highlight, underline, circle, whatever you need to do. When we take better notes, we are encouraging our brain to remember a certain truth that spoke to us. Don’t beat yourself up too much if you forget your pen, just ask that new friend you made after reading our last tip for an extra.
Highlighting and taking notes help us to pay attention to the material being presented in Christian Bible studies. We’ve all experienced that one Sunday in church where our imaginations get the better of us and we start thinking about lunch or afternoon plans. Next thing you know, you’ve missed three of the five points from the pastor’s sermon.
As we mentioned in our post on prayer journals, it’s helpful to be able to come back months or years later and see the impact of your study or to remember the changes you wanted to make in your life but forgot.
One thing you can do to help these notes leap off the page is to make note cards each week of the study containing a particular thing that stood out to you. You can place these in the areas where you think they’ll do the most good. If you’re dealing with anger, maybe keep a note in your vehicle for the next time you get cut off in traffic. When fighting image issues, perhaps make an encouraging note to stick on your bathroom mirror. Feel free to use this same approach with your daily quiet times or prayer needs.
This takes us to our final point on how to get the most out of Christian Bible studies.
Turning your notes from your study into little reminders is only the first way to take the next step with Bible studies. It’s important to have the knowledge you gain from time in God’s Word, but you also need to be applying those lessons to your daily life.
If you’re taking a more practical study like Financial Peace University, then the changes you can make in your life are obvious. What about Bible studies that involve Biblical icons like Moses or Paul? Examine the lives of these heroes of the faith and see where your faith doesn’t match up to theirs. Are you having trouble trusting God? Do you need to work on creating evangelistic opportunities? There are answers for these problems and more in your studies and in the Bible itself.
Maybe you can build stronger relationships with the people you connected with throughout the study. What if you picked up where the church events ended and started a Bible study of your own? What if you mentored and discipled a younger believer that you met in your study? Don’t waste the opportunities that are presented to you.
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