Week #1 “Community”
When I was in college I cooked a lot of meals in a microwave. These “meals” started out frozen or dehydrated and the goal was to get them done as fast as possible so they could be consumed. The only real concern was getting something in my belly. I didn’t spend energy on determining the ingredients or the nutritional value, there was no effort to enhance flavor or to consider making enough to share.
We sometimes have a tendency to microwave our Bible study. We know it needs to happen, so we find the quickest way possible to get it done. This is a poor way to eat and a poor way to study the Bible.
The first ingredient for Grow Groups is community. My favorite ways to cook now are with marinades or slow cookers. Marinades take different components and combine them together to highlight and enhance the main ingredient. You still know you are eating chicken, but you can also taste cilantro and lime and onion flavors layered in the meat. Slow cooking, however, allows ingredients to become something different altogether. The separate flavors combine and dissolve into each other over several hours and become something new.
Studying the Bible in community works in a similar fashion. If we only study the Bible as individuals we can only understand it through our own eyes. If we are only exposed to the Bible through preaching we only experience one telling of its application. But if we read and study the Bible in community we hear and share the stories and perspectives from a variety of sources. Some of them align with yours and encourage you to keep growing. Some of the challenge your ideas as you discover ways of thinking that you had never considered. Some push you from your comfort zone as you realize your understanding was too small or too relaxed.
Grow Groups bring us together to study the Bible and our ideas and understanding is pushed, pulled, stretched, expanded or exploded as we humbly submit to each other in the process of growing in and through community. Don’t microwave your Bible study and find a group where you can connect and grow.
Spiritual Formation Pastor