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IXOYE
10-15-01, 11:40 PM
Hello brothers and sisters, This is my first post here. I hope to make some new friends here to encourage and be encouraged by.
I was wondering if it is possible to have a home group bible study with no designated leader. My wife and I are going to be having a young married couples group meet at our place but no one feels led to be the teacher. Any ideas or suggestions?

IXOYE

May the LORD bless you.

Andrew
10-16-01, 12:05 AM
HELLO IXOYE! WELCOME! hope you'll stick around long!

To answer your ?. it depends on what u hope to achieve. from your post, you state "bible study", so i assume the purpose is to study the Bible and get fed and fat! with the Word and get revelations.

If that's the case, my advice is that someone who is well grounded in the Word and spiritually mature shld be appointed to teach. it shld not be a "this week my turn and next week.. whoever is willing thing"

Why do i say this?
I attend 3 Bible study groups. with regard to the bible study part, if you dont have someone who is "called/annointed" to teach, it becomes a free-for-all thing, with all sorts of interpretations, and at the end of the meeting, for fear of offending anyone, everybody's interpretation is somehow correct and you walk away not learning much or even frustrated.

I experience this in 2 of the groups I attend. I never learn much.

In a third grp, there is a designated leader appointed by the Pastor who leads with authority and annointing. In this group I learn much and there is order.

Another thing i believe is this. The flow has to ideally come from the top. ie your Pastor has to teach your church well first. the congregation has to be well-taught in the Word by your Pastor first, then the BS grp becomes a sort of reinforcement of what has been taught. This leads to more unity in doctrines and thought, and less endless arguments. So if you cannot agree with most of the doctrines taught, dont fight the Pastor, just find another church. that's what i did.

I hope I've not discouraged you. You can still form the group as there are other impt things like praise and worship, fellowshipping, sharing testimonies and praying for one another and of course, FOOD!. It's just that when it comes to the Bible Study part, take it more as a discussion/sharing.

Finally, the leader doesn't have to be the teacher as well as the worship leader. For eg, in one grp i attend, the leader is very good in caring for others. I mean she will follow up, meet up, pray for everyone etc. she scores in love. but she is not good in teaching or singing. so there can be diff appointments for diff people. find out who is good in what.

Hope this has been helpful!

God bless

Christ_†_Alone
10-16-01, 05:42 AM
Greetings IXOYE, welcome to 5Solas...

this is a good question, destined to get all kinds of different answers, from different perspectives.

My husband and I have 2 in-home Bible studies each week, and neither of them have a designated "leader", aside from the Holy Spirit.

Both are VERY different, from each other.

One, is more informal, where we discuss current events, and how Scripture applies, either directly or generally, and we also discuss whatever issue or topic is on our minds that week, and search the Scriptures together to see how God's word applies to said topic. We also, occaisionally have taped sermons or messages from selected sources, and we listen, then discuss from the Word, the topic at hand. Last night's was the Sovereignty of God in Election, and it was VERY good, our study went a good 45 minutes longer than usual :)

At the other study, we are currently reading thru Isaiah, and this one is more formal. My husband opens in prayer, and then doles out sections of verses for each of us to read (so technically you could say he leads that one). We each read, then after each person has read a section, we stop and discuss what we've read, looking up supporting verses, etc. At the rate we stop and discuss what we've read, we jokingly tell each other we'll all be dead, gone and in Heaven asking Isaiah ourselves, what he meant when he wrote so and so :) It's a good study though, and each person contributes, and is comfortable enough to ask questions on anything that isn't clear.

Another option, would be to have weekly topical studies, where each group member is given a printed questionaire, on the topic at hand, i.e., God's holiness, the importance of prayer, etc.

We have a 5 volume set of these studies, and I used to use them in our online Bible study, uploading them each week, for personal or small group use. Alot of people have told me over the years that these studies were AWESOME, and they really helped them a great deal. I say we used to use them, only because we've taken a break from those to upload weekly studies on the book of Romans. (those studies can be found HERE (http://communities.msn.com/BIBLEFELLOWSHIP/weeklybiblestudies.msnw ) if you're interested in seeing them for yourself)

So it really boils down to, different styles, for different folks. In-home Bible studies can be held without a designated leader, IF the group members decide that's what they'd like, and equally participate in the study format.

I hope this helps, and gives you some food for thought. :)

IXOYE
10-16-01, 05:41 PM
Both of your advices were helpful, I'm glad that I have a place to air this out in. The group study might be more of a fellowship group from the feedback i've been getting as of last night, however I have another related problem. Whenever my wife and I study together we have division. I am the type that disects the verse and cross references it and gets to the minute heart of the matter, my wife just wants to read the verse and ask how can I apply that in my life. BOTH are valid, but it does make for a clash of styles. I guess it is the apologist in me, but I like to dig. I HATE the feelings that we get when we study together, She feels like I'm preaching to her and trying to disiple her when I should be walking along side of her, I feel like she is not serious when in truth she is just different from me. How should we reconcile this?

God bless and keep you.

IXOYE

Brandan
10-16-01, 06:08 PM
Well for starters, maybe spend a lot more time praying together. ;)

Christ_†_Alone
10-16-01, 09:29 PM
Whenever my wife and I study together we have division. I am the type that disects the verse and cross references it and gets to the minute heart of the matter, my wife just wants to read the verse and ask how can I apply that in my life. BOTH are valid, but it does make for a clash of styles.

Your first problem is that you see it as a clash of styles :) Instead of seeing it that way, look at it from the most wonderful vantage point that you BOTH have a viewpoint to contribute, that COMPLIMENTS each other.

Fledge
10-16-01, 10:24 PM
I was basically going to say the same thing that C_A said.
They are differing styles and outlooks. So one of you can look into what it says and means, and the other can look into how to use it in our lives practically.

They compliment each other big time. She can learn from you and you can learn from her.

Odyssey
10-17-01, 12:55 PM
We have a study that meets in our house every other weekend (or there abouts). Our group is set up sort of like a 12 step program. Everyones point is valid. There is no 'cross talking' meaning that since everyones point is valid, we shouldn't interrupt someone with whom we differ and 'try to set them straight.' With that said, however, there are still times for 'correction.' If someone came into the group and started spouting that Jesus wasn't god or whatnot, *after* the meeting someone would pull that person aside and let them know that our group does not believe that. If they want to stay, they are welcome to but that type of thing will not be allowed.

Furthermore, the *way* we study is this: We ask 'who, what, where, when, why and how.' This process helps us to realize that *we* were not the intended people for what we are reading. Other people were the originial audience. This helps remove *us* from the text and try and determine what the original audience understood. When it comes to applying what we have learned, we leave that up to god and the individual. This method has been the most rewarding! When we started a few years ago, we were all at different stages of our beliefs. However, we are now pretty close to the same thing. And no one has been *teaching.* That is, I don't say, 'What god is saying here deals with predestination.' Or whatever. However, after some time people who thought certain things were discusting doctrinally, have since embraced those views! I'll give you an example. A lot of us came out of the Charismatic movement. We had been taught that things like blindness, deafness, sickness and deasese was from the 'devil.' But after spending a couple of years just getting through Genesis and Exodus, we have come to realize that god does those things: 'Furthermore the LORD said to him, "Now put your hand in your bosom." And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow...So the LORD said to him, "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?" (Exodus 4.6, 11).'

Anyway...

The other thing we do is *pray.* We start with prayer and end with pray. We ask god to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to his word and then we thank him for it. We also take prayer requests and see if there are things that we can do as a group for others in our community.

Grace to you,

jak