One day a few years ago I was having my Bible study girls over and suddenly I realized, I hadn’t done my homework! These girls were coming to my house so we could talk about the book we were all reading today. And I wasn’t ready! I hadn’t even opened the book. I tried to cram a week’s worth of homework into a few hours that afternoon.
As I dug into the Word, the first lesson was on a passage of Scripture I had always struggled to understand. I fumbled with the questions. Frustrated, I wondered if I was even qualified to lead these ladies coming to my house that evening. For the first time, as they sat around my couch waiting for me to get things started, I had a second of doubt. The enemy pulled out all of his old accusations:
You are not worthy; you are not smart enough…I silenced the lies by looking at the faces of the women who were already sharing their hearts before we even began. Suddenly I realized something:
It wasn’t about me.
Connecting with Others
As you begin to think about hosting and leading a Bible study in your home, I want you to first admit that this isn’t about you. When I first started this Bible study, it was all about me. I was a young mom of two boys who was struggling to stay afloat. I knew I needed God’s Word and I knew I needed accountability. It was about me back then, but six years later I’ve realized it is not about me. These women don’t come to my house to see me. They come to see and feel the presence of God in friendship.
If you are like me, community can be hard. But even if it is - the benefits far outweigh the possible fears. I’ve had my heart hurt plenty of times with friends. Almost ten years ago I was hurt by two childhood friends. It was a tough lesson, and it took me years to open up again. But when I did, I found myself even more loved and even more connected than before.
Bible study has been the number one way for me to connect with other women. It has become my favorite days of the month (we meet twice a month). The importance is not just about community, but about God as well. We can meet God on our own – and I’m all for Bible reading and personal prayer each day – but the best thing I’ve found is how God’s Word opens up as I study it with others.
Remember the passage I struggled with a few weeks ago? When we got together, my sweet friends didn’t look down on me when I admitted: “I don’t get it!” Instead, they offered their own wisdom about the words. Together we wrestled with what we thought the passage meant and let me tell you: I get it now! It makes sense to me. A handful of times, instead of discussing homework, we just talk during the first half-hour. When someone is really struggling, we listen. We hug. We laugh and cry together. It is in those moments we are able to be Jesus to that woman.
Bible study isn’t about you (or even them). It is about God. I have seen my own relationship with God grow, of course, but I’ve seen my friends also grow in their relationship. Not just with each other, but with God. And that’s the most important relationship out there!
Starting a Bible Study
Right now, all of our lives have been turned upside down! Having a Bible study in your home (or a general location) is a great way to connect with people.
Our only weapon against the invisible forces of our enemy is the Word of God. Your Bible is not your defense, but your offense. Wouldn’t the enemy like anything else but to take away this powerful weapon? Bible study is something so many women want to do but can’t find the time or know where to start. Having and leading your own Bible study is the perfect way to start.
Liz Curtis Higgs, author of dozens of books and famous speaker, began her Bible study career when she was first saved. Either on a whim or out of desperation, she asked another woman at her work to join her. They opened the Word of God and read it together. There was no plan or agenda. They simply used God’s Word to speak to their hearts.
When I was younger, I had a hard time making friends. I was shy, quiet, and very self-conscious. Every week we would drive downtown to the gymnastics gym where the homeschoolers had their own classes each Thursday. My mom was constantly telling me to “be more friendly.” I just couldn’t do it. In college, I didn’t make many friends either. I had one or two people I liked and hung around them for most of the four years.
Many years have passed since I first opened my home to a group of women to study the Bible. Whether you are doing the teaching or not, joining a Bible study can be daunting.
Let me take a little pressure off. Here are three myths you might have believed about being a part of a Bible study.
Myth #1: You Have to Be a Bible Expert
When I started a Bible study in my home, I was not a Bible expert. Yes, I had been in church all of my life, but I didn’t know it all. The women that joined me didn’t know everything either. We all learned together! That was the beauty of joining together and reading God’s Word in a community. We asked questions and we wrestled with the answers. We watched videos, read commentaries, and did our own study, but we came together and learned so much more! Being a part of a Bible study allows for growth and helps you grow in your knowledge.
Myth #2: Your Life Has to Be Put Together
When I started my Bible study group, I was pregnant with our third child and our boys were four and two. I was exhausted all of the time. We had just moved to a new house and I was struggling with church. There had been deep hurts in my life from people at church. Christian people had hurt me. The last thing I wanted to do was to meet new Christians. But I did. I realized the deep hurts were only going to be healed with God’s word, and even though my life never looks put together, I walked with these women through my struggles. They helped me see the truth and pointed me to Jesus. Being a part of a Bible study allows us to be healed from past hurts and brings a community of believers into our lives who can walk through hard times with us.
Myth #3: You Need to Have a Lot of Time to Do the Homework
Let me admit something: sometimes I didn’t have all of the homework done. Yes, I was the leader! I was supposed to guide the discussion and sometimes teach the lesson. Life would get in the way some weeks and I would have to admit to my Bible study girls I didn’t do all of the homework. But that’s ok! We had so much grace for each other. Being perfect is not the goal - accountability and community was the goal. Growing in the knowledge of God was the goal.
You might think right now is just not the right time – don’t believe that lie! If you are waiting for the “perfect time” it won’t come. Right now is the best time because God is waiting for us and there are people out there ready to help you walk with the Lord!
If you are struggling to find a group of people, I created this resource for you. With 15 years of experience, I've developed this amazing FREE 21-page workbook on starting your own in-home Bible study. If you know 3 people who would like to study the Bible with you, you can start one. It is a free guide for hosting and starting your own Bible study! Download it here for free!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Justin Kendra
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor. Sarah is the wife of Jason and mother of five. She and her family serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to start today with a Bible reading and prayer habit. Sarah is the author of several self-published Bible study resources for women. She shares tools and encouragement for Bible and prayer study on her blog: sarahefrazer.com.