where love is alive 

We are just a few weeks into our new church year. This launch features a new year for Sunday morning Bible Study classes. I get excited each year for the new enthusiasm about our Sunday School. If you are not in a regular Bible Study class, here are some sound Biblical reasons to join in a small group.

In a class setting, you share the experiences of other ordinary, imperfect believers. Against this background we learn real fellowship the way God intends for us: If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its honor. 1 Corinthians 12:26 NCV.

A Bible Study group also is a great environment for showing the kind of sacrificial love the Bible tells us to show to other believers: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16.

A small group helps you develop spiritual muscle that you will never have just by attending worship services and being a passive spectator. One of the main tools of spiritual growth is participation in a small group, where your spiritual muscles get a regular workout: As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16. These classes bring together two essential ingredients for spiritual growth: The Bible and Relationships. When others share what God is teaching them, we learn and grow too!

A small group is also a great way to exercise our God-given mission in the world. We’re not just to love each other. We’re to take that love together to the rest of the world. We’re His hands, feet, eyes, and heart. He works through us in the world

You have a background and experiences that other people can learn from and draw strength from! A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. 1 Corinthians 12:7. God has a unique role for you to play in his family. Think about it, when Jesus walked the earth, even He had a small group He shared with His disciples!

Over the next several weeks we are encouraging our Bible Study classes to take some actions to grow both numerically and spiritually.

If your class is holding a special fellowship this Sunday, please be intentional in inviting people to this activity who do not attend a small group. Our prayer is that your fellowship will provide openings for others to become a part of your group.

I also encourage your class to consider a ministry project to conduct on Sunday evening, October 13. Participating in a ministering group is the most profound way I know to bond with other Christians and gain personal spiritual growth. If your class chooses to do a project, please let us know about it in the church office so we can help promote your work. Jay

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