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The Danger of Too Much Group Bible Study

You probably think I chose the title of this blog just to jar you into reading it. That’s partly true. I did. But I do think there is a danger of too much Bible study.

Not to long ago, I met with a wonderful Christian couple. They attended a Bible study at their church on Sunday mornings. In addition, they both attended Bible Study Fellowship, a wonderful ministry that scores of Christians I admire have attended. The woman also attended a Tuesday morning women’s study at their church. And they had been doing that for years.

Here’s what alarmed me. When I asked them what their ministry was – how they were serving the kingdom, aside from the man ushering at his church and his wife serving a local pro-life ministry a few hours a month, they responded that they were in all these Bible Studies. That was it. In my opinion they were spending far more time studying the Bible than actually living it out in service.

None of us would allow our children to stay in college for years and years unless they were studying medicine or some other field that required 6-8 years of study. At some point, we’d sit down and tell them it’s time to get out and find a J-O-B. We would hope they always continue to learn in their field of study, through maybe some kind of continuing education program. We should never stop learning. But, at some point, actually working in a job must far outweigh their study time.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Please hear me out. I spend 30-60 minutes every day at least in Bible study and prayer. And for the first 5-6 years I was a believer, I regularly attended a number of Bible studies weekly. It was critically important to my spiritual maturity that I study with others who I could learn from. But I no longer attend a group Bible study. Why? Because while there is always more I can learn, I believe I know enough to lead others to Christ, navigate life wisely. and pass on what I’ve learned to others. I’m confident Jesus would prefer I serve others then spend more time honing my theology. I’ve led many Bible studies but always urged people who have been in my studies for a few years, to begin one of their own. Leading a Bible study is a ministry. Just attending one is not.

In my book, The 10 Second Rule, I made this statement; “I believe Jesus would prefer I was half as smart, and twice as obedient.”

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-17

So if you are a Bible study leader, or are in a group Bible study, when is graduation for you or the people in your study? How much is knowledge is enough, before you spend significantly more time serving others? Don’t ever stop learning and studying scripture, but intentionally move from learning more, to serving more. That is why you were created.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

How following Jesus works in real life.

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