Why bother with Bible Study?

Last week we introduced BSWednesdays or Bible study at The Spot. We imagine it as a weekly gathering of people eager to dig a little deeper into the scripture passage that will frame the upcoming worship service and in particular the sermon I'll be preaching. On Sundays, I try to include some teaching in all my sermons, but a portion of what I discovered in preparation is inevitably left out. There's just not enough time to cover all the possible interpretations and all the historical, cultural, and political context in a ~15 minute sermon unless you want people to go to sleep. There is a big difference between proclaiming THE WORD and proclaiming all the words. Granted, people still sleep for reasons that have nothing to do with the length of the sermon. So, instead of passing out pillows we are passing out invitations to come to an extended session of Bible study in a different setting than worship.

The format we've chosen for BSWednesdays is straightforward upon first glance.

  1. Yummy lunch is served.
  2. Read the passage together.
  3. Amos offers necessary context for interpretation and invites feedback, questions, and additional observations from the participants.
  4. A constructive dialogue is realized even while some questions remain unanswered.
  5. Everyone goes back to work or home by 12:50.
While the format is unremarkable, the results can be extraordinary. #4 is where all the mystery and the magic takes place. It's a whole lot easier for me to tell you what I think and dismiss you with a blessing to go and do likewise than it is for us to create an atmosphere where honest conversation about a very ancient text occurs between participants and the facilitator (me). You see, I can control what happens halfway through #3 but after that, I'm here to learn from you, the person most likely to ask the questions and notice the tensions that matter for right now - which makes the living Word of God, well…living.
Come once, come often, but do come. Whether you know the Bible well or not at all, there is a place for you.


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