When my sons were young children, the word “why” was the word of words. It seemed to accompany any conversation. And oftentimes, it led us down paths that were never ending. The word “why,” in the eyes of a child, simply leads to another question—why? That is, unless God is the author of the answer to the question.
So why do Bible study groups? There are many reasons to do groups. A few stand out above all others, and one ends the conversation:
- A group is the perfect place for people who are unbelievers to see believers doing life together and realize that God has done something extraordinary in their hearts.
- A group is the perfect place for people who are unbelievers to hear the Word of God taught and have the opportunity to process it with believers who can answer their questions.
- A group is the perfect place for believers to learn what God expects of them and be held accountable for doing that thing.
- A group is the perfect place for an individual or married couple to get wise counsel when making difficult decisions or when struggling relationally.
- A group is the perfect place for anyone to be accepted as they are, realizing every other group member is on a journey to become more like Jesus.
- A group is the perfect setting for believers to confess sin to one another (Jas. 5:16), be prayed for, and be reminded of God’s unending grace.
- A group is the perfect (and maybe the only) place where accountability is welcomed and received without reservation.
- A group is the perfect place for individuals to find out what their spiritual gifts are and learn to utilize them for the good of the body of Christ.
- A group is the perfect place for leaders to be recognized, acknowledged, equipped, and empowered.
But there is one answer to the “Why do groups?” question that trumps all others. The simple and most important answer to the “Why do groups?” question is simply this: God told us to in Acts 2:46.
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together… (Acts 2:46a)
And thus ends the conversation.
Rick Howerton is the South Central Regional Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”