The Bible is God’s Word, divinely inspired to speak truth into the life of any believer who will faithfully read it! Personal Bible study will increase knowledge of God and His ways; strengthen personal faith; reveal truth based on scriptural principles; and reinforce the authority of the inerrant Word of God in daily life.
While personal Bible study is essential to spiritual growth, studying the Bible with others can add insights and application of the truth of God’s Word. Followers of Jesus devoted themselves not only to the apostles’ teaching but also to fellowship, the breaking of bread, and praying together (Acts 2:42-47). Women in the 21st century have more ways than ever to study the Bible in community!
Here are some ideas that may help you be more intentional in studying the Bible with others:
Study the Bible one-on-one with someone more spiritually mature. No matter how long you have been a believer, it is important to continue growing in your faith. Someone more spiritually mature can share what God has taught them through a study of His Word. They can inspire and encourage spiritual growth as well as serve as an accountability partner. Look for someone to study the Bible with who has confidence in her faith.
Study the Bible one-on-one with someone who is similar in spiritual maturity, passion, and calling. A sister in the faith who has a like testimony will sharpen your spiritual growth and encourage your personal ministry. Bible study application can be even more relevant when shared with someone who understands your heart and commitment. Spending time in the Word with another woman passionate about sharing her faith or called to missions will strengthen you.
Study the Bible one-on-one with someone who is new to the faith. A new believer can renew the joy of your own salvation and stimulate your study of Scripture. As she learns about the Bible, her questions and insights often challenge and motivate personal study. Every Christian should be leading another person as she begins her spiritual journey.
Study the Bible with a small group of women who meet on a regular basis. Weekly small group Bible studies provide opportunity for spiritual discipleship as well as building relationships and offering personal support. A few members of a faith family build close bonds when gathering in community. Small groups which are more homogeneous or similar in composition are more effective in the group learning process.
- Study the Bible with a large group of women who also love God’s Word. Join with women of your church or other Christian women in the country or the world to study the Bible together. Some churches have larger Bible study groups for women which offer broader insights and more diverse fellowship. Bible study websites or blogs involve women in personal Bible study via virtual time spent together. Interaction in an online community can promote spiritual growth on a global scale among all those who are “in Christ!”
Our God is creative, and there are countless ways to study His Word. Comment below to share other ideas you have for studying the Bible in community! The most assured way to experience the power and work of the Holy Spirit in your life is through inhaling and exhaling God’s Word in community. The accountability of studying with others will drive you to demonstrate Christ-like love and acceptance, give hope and encouragement, and trust the Lord more deeply.
Rhonda Harrington Kelley is Professor of Women’s Ministry and Director of the Women’s Academic Programs at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. She is also co-editor of The Study Bible for Women, which just released this month from B&H Publishing Group.