Fellowship. Relationships. Parties. Never underestimate the need people have to develop relationships with one another. In the book of Genesis the Lord looked upon Adam and said that it was not good that the man was alone. Being lonely hasn’t changed – it’s still not a good idea. If you want to have a Bible study group that is attractive to people, and one that meets deep needs, you must fellowship regularly. While people do appreciate a well-prepared Bible study, they also long for friends and relationships. You’ll develop some of those over time as you meet for Bible study, but you can accelerate the process of finding friends if you regularly schedule fellowships for your group. Here are three things to keep in mind:
- Jesus loved being with people. One of the greatest accusations leveled against Jesus was that “He eats with sinners and tax collectors.” Good for Jesus! He also attended weddings and interacted with many others in their settings. Jesus loved being with people. If you are going to teach a Bible study group, don’t just do it to hear yourself speak – make sure you are doing it in part because you love people and desire to know them, and to help them know one another.
- If you wait for 100% attendance, you’ll never have a fellowship. I’ve seen some groups over the years freeze up and not schedule fellowships because they were under the false assumption that everyone had to be able to attend, or the group shouldn’t meet. They could never find the perfect calendar date, hence they never had fun together! Set a date, and don’t worry about those who cannot attend – they’ll be able to catch up and attend the next one, where a different group of people may have to miss because of scheduling conflicts.
- A regular time for fellowship helps everyone. I encourage you to consider setting a certain day of the month aside for your group’s fellowships. When I taught a group regularly, we scheduled “Third Sunday Lunch” on the third Sunday of each month; people knew exactly when we were going to lunch as a group after church and they marked their calendars. Other groups I’ve known have set aside Friday nights, “Second Saturdays,” and other days that make sense for their people. The point is, everyone knew when the group was supposed to get together, and fellowships became a natural part of the groups’ cadence.
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