When I became a Christian late in high school, I knew I had a lot to learn. Thankfully, a close friend gave me a Bible, and I began to read furiously, soaking up this new wisdom. It didn't take long, though, to come across something that I didn't understand—and the notes in my study Bible weren't cutting it. That's when I joined my first, although unofficial, small group. My friend and I—both new believers—met regularly with another friend—a longtime believer—to talk through life situations and work through our Bible questions.
A year later, when I went off to college and joined a new small group, my passion for studying God's Word in community really took off. Together we could better understand Scripture and how to apply it. And boy did we need each other. As Christians on a state university campus, we faced challenging situations regularly and had conversations with peers that left us with questions. Coming together to search God's Word for wisdom grounded us.
The early Church had this same dynamic.
They gathered together in homes, often in secret, reminding one another of God's promises, and relating Jesus' commands—to love God and others— to real life situations. They encouraged one another, challenged one another, and worked out what it looks like to be a Christian. We can do the same. In fact, we must do the same. God created us to live in community—and especially to read Scripture in community. It's only together that we can accurately interpret and apply the Word. So if you don't currently participate in a small-group Bible study, now's the perfect time to start one. Here are some keys to help you make the most of it: