- If only the leader is in the text daily, then only the leader is sensitive to the Spirit’s quickening: seeing the Scripture in life.
- Therefore, we must provide opportunity for our group members to be in the text daily.
We must give some application points to our group members; that’s part of being a good teacher. Just consider the Great Commission: teach them to obey. However, even though we can cater application to a group of 12 better than the preacher can to thousands, we still won’t be able to hit the “personal” for everyone. Now, add into that the old mantra that the Sunday School teacher is the only one who grows, and you have a recipe for the status quo.
My theory is that we leaders are steeped in the biblical text each week so that we see what the Spirit brings to our attention and we can respond to it in the power of the Spirit. In other words, our Bible saturation calibrates our spiritual sensitivities to the quickening of the Holy Spirit. Now imagine that you weren’t the teacher and that you didn’t steep yourself in the text. Instead, you show up to a group not having read anything, ready for the leader to tell you what to do. Is that disciple-making?
I encourage you to drive your groups into the Bible regularly, if not daily. I’ve chosen to teach our Current Foundations Series to align with the sermons so that I can send the participant’s guide to my group early in the week and they can steep themselves in the texts, discussion questions, and application points (not to mention, the JourneyOn Today Daily Bible Reading app!)
If you’re teaching a book of the Bible, give the group something to read each day: some cross references, a participant’s guide, etc. If you’re using Past Foundation’s Series, then each lesson has biblical text attached that could be worked through each day.
Our people will not see the Scripture in their lives if we don’t challenge them to be in the text for themselves. Let’s push them to engage the Word daily!
Paul Wilkinson is the Adult Minister–Groups Associate, Brentwood Campus, Brentwood Baptist Church.