Bible Study or Relationships?

What's the purpose of a small group: Bible study, or relationships?

Darryl received some great advice from readers last month on how to handle the holidays. He decided to scrap the normal Bible study through December and have a couple social get-togethers instead. But this raised another issue when he brought it up in his group. How important is study and learning in a group, anyway? Darryl's group was equally divided. Some said that a small group is more for community building and caring for one another than for serious study. They said they wouldn't mind if Darryl dumped the study most of the time anyway, They come for the fellowship and they love the intimacy. The rest of the group said they think learning happens best in a small group. It's there that they can really dig into the Scriptures and apply them to their lives. They said they come to the group each week to "get into the Word," not just do "touchy-feely" stuff. They fear becoming out-of-balance with sound doctrine and laying the groundwork for a man-centered group that focuses on therapy rather than Scripture. Darryl sees both sides of this dilemma, but doesn't know what to do.

What Should Darryl do?

Darryl may be in this dilemma because he has not consciously dealt with mission. Or it could be that, having experienced the break from the study, some people's expectations have changed. Either way, Darryl needs to be proactive.

First, let's look at the issue of mission. Each group has a mission. It's just that most don't talk about it, so no one is clear on what it is. This is one reason why many groups flounder after awhile. It's the reason Darryl's group will flounder soon if he doesn't grab this bull by the horns.

Your mission is your group's reason for existing. It answers the question, "Why is this particular group together ...

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