Over 97% of a person’s waking hours are spent somewhere other than in a worship service. It just makes sense that there needs to be a focus on God during that time also. That can take many forms, but the bible makes it very clear, spending time with other disciples is essential.
As Christians, we know we should grow, and I believe most disciples want to mature spiritually – but how? Certain elements are essential. They can be pictured as a triangle…
The base leg of the triangle is the Word of God. What we need to do, How to change our thinking to bring it about and our ‘Why’ of bringing glory to God are all found in the pages of God’s inspired Word.
One of the two side legs is Situations. It is no surprise to any believer that living out the principles of God’s Word takes more than just learning them. We have to face situations that call for those godly choices. Doing so is not easy, so we have to trust God. Specifically, trust that he is always in total control and loves us more than we can ever know.
The other side leg is our Relationships with other Christians. Trusting God to make the choices that are not easy is not easy itself. We need encouragement from other Christians – and they needs ours. In addition, often we need the outside perspective of a trusted Christian friend to see things about ourselves that we miss on our own.
Working in and through each leg of the Growth Triangle is God’s Holy Spirit. And our desire to grow should be expressed in Prayer, that God would use his Word, Situations and Relationships to accomplish our transformation into his image.
The goal of the weekly bible study nights is two-fold. First, to see what lesson God has for us from the passage being studied that night. God’s Word is “living and active,” and there is always something timely for each of us. The second purpose is to learn how to study the bible. Many people have sat in numerous classes, and learned a lot of facts, but don’t know how to really study the bible themselves. Our Life Groups go through books of the bible. That is part of our goal of focusing as much as possible on God. As we do so, we’re learning how to discover the themes and lessons of God’s Word on our own.
Apart from the bible study night, members of Life Groups make a point to do things together at other times of the week. Maybe go to the park, or attend children’s sporting events. Possibly watch a game or a movie. Even a task like shopping can be a time of encouragement and fun, when you’re doing it with each other.