Evaluation: More Than Just a Bible Study

Evaluation: More Than Just a Bible Study

Three common obstacles to life change

Note: this evaluation has been excerpted from the SmallGroups.com Assessment Pack called Is Our Church Discipling?

Cindy was in the Bible study I led for three years. She always answered the questions and participated in the discussion. She accumulated a lot of knowledge, but her life never changed.

I have puzzled a lot over people like Cindy. I've met quite a few over the years. It seems that some people never move beyond head knowledge to heart knowledge. There are numerous reasons for this; I've listed three below. Evaluate which of these could problems in your Bible study.

Are we studying the Bible just to accumulate knowledge?

Those who can rattle off chapter and verse but never become more like Christ may not truly believe that the God of the universe is addressing them personally. They see the Bible as an ancient document with interesting and wise information, but not "living and active." They see no need to apply it to their lives. This person comes to the Scriptures with an analytical eye rather than by humbly asking God to transform their lives. They take pride in mastering the text, but they don't know how to let the text master them. They want to study Jesus, but don't really want to know him.

Evidence that we are:

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Evidence that we are not:

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Are we coming to the Bible with arrogance?

The person who is not transformed by the Word of God may come to it to prove his or her point. This person may have decided what he or she thinks or wants the Bible to teach. They may have been taught such ideas as a child, been drawn to the Bible because it preserves the lifestyle they want, or because it gives them power in certain choices. This person doesn't come to the Word of God to let it transform them. Instead they use the Bible as a proof text, to gain ammunition for selfish battles.

Evidence that we are:

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Evidence that we are not:

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Are we reading the Bible through our baggage?

My friend Cindy's biggest problem was that she really couldn't believe that God would bring her happiness. Because she'd already decided God was a killjoy, she didn't trust him with her life. Hence, she came to Bible study for friendship, not to be transformed by God. In her mind, it was all up to her. She thought she'd find the perfect human relationship to meet all her needs. Until she truly believed that God was her only hope for joy and fulfillment, she would never be able to believe a word he said.

Evidence that we are:

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Evidence that we are not:

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— JoHannah Reardon; adapted from our sister publication KYRIA, © 2009 Christianity Today International. For more articles like this, visit www.Kyria.com.

Discuss

  1. Which of these obstacles is biggest in your Bible study? How can you address this?
  2. Which of these is the biggest obstacle in your own heart? How do you see that manifested?
  3. What kinds of people tend to struggle with each of these particular issues?

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