Bible Study with a group of people, follow these simple rules to benefit a discourse on religious or faith issues. Twenty-five years in ministry from the Pulpit and Lectern have taught me some simple rules to follow when visitors come by. These practices are best because scripture bears them out.
As Christians who want to share our faith, we must realize that we are in the communication business. Communication is necessary to share the Gospel. Three practices, when applied, provide a blessed opportunity for visitors coming by. These practices are general and not exhaustive.
Practice #1: Understand People Have Sincere Beliefs
Everyone has reasons for believing what they have adopted as faith. How people interpret the world and life, in general, is vital to them. The reasons may not be yours, but that does not make them any less real. We do great harm to the lines of communication when we assume our views are more important than others. Confusion and separation result from ideas developed in parental upbringing, your political party affiliation, skin color, age, finances, education, and gender.
Many people have died as martyrs for causes and beliefs that are non-christian, even atheistic. For example:
A Bible Study discussion with anyone we disagree with (whether it's a disagreement about the very existence of God or a dispute over a minor point of doctrine) begins by understanding and respecting the fact that the other person feels as strongly about their point of view as we do ours. Also, remember that it will be as difficult for them to change their minds as it would be for us to do so should the circumstances be reversed
The Apostle Paul says that "we should speak the truth in love," Ephesians 4:15, among ourselves as Christians. Expand this to our communication with those outside of the faith. We should, therefore, speak the truth in love when discussing or debating matters of faith with others because they are as sensitive as we are about these matters, and without a loving approach, we could wound or offend them. Some might say that it is impossible to share the faith, correct error, or teach the word without offending someone somehow.
That brings us to Practice #2. Check this blog out next week to take a deeper look at these three practices in the coming weeks. In summary, remember 1. Give people some credit where their sincerity is concerned; 2. Study God's Word, not your opinion, and have no other agendas; 3. Be patient because teaching the perfect way requires it.
Beliefs need to be Bible-grown and matured if one is to have peace and salvation. We must remember that we have not cornered sincerity and zeal of faith.
See you in the next blog, and check out the links below
Barry G. Johnson, Sr.
An Evangelist at the Church of Christ which meets in Brookfield, IL.