At this time of year, many churches start their regular Sunday morning Bible classes and weekly small group meetings.
But if you look at the weekly attendance to Bible studies compared to the number of people who attend worship on Sunday, the numbers don’t quite match up. Why do fewer people attend these studies? Why is there such a big gap? What’s the disconnect?
I’d like to argue that there are no excuses for not attending Bible study. People of all ages need to study the Scriptures surrounded by fellow Christians. Here are three common reasons why people might not attend regular Bible study and some encouragement to rethink that perspective!
Bible Study Is Not the Same as Corporate Worship
Corporate worship is vital to the Christian life. The Bible is full of encouragement for gathering together as the people of God to receive His blessings of forgiveness. But corporate worship is not Bible study.
Studying the Bible with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, whether on Sunday morning or in a small group, is so beneficial to your faith. Learning the Scriptures on a more in-depth level can help you get more out of your time in weekly worship by helping you feel more familiar with the Bible.
Bible Study Is Personal and Public
One reason many people don’t attend regular Bible study is because they assume their personal daily Bible reading is enough. Of course, we should all be regularly studying the Scriptures on our own! But it’s also important to learn from your pastor or group leader.
Additionally, it can be beneficial to hear your peers’ perspectives on what you’re studying. I have learned so much from others’ questions and thoughts because their life experiences are different than mine!
Bible Study Is for Everyone
Some people might think that Bible study is too complicated or “academic” for them. Your leaders’ teaching style informs how the study goes, of course, but the truth is that Bible study is for everyone. If you don’t know your Bible very well, then Bible study is the perfect place to learn! Learning from others and surrounding yourself with fellow Christians is a great way to become more well-versed in the Scriptures.
On the flip side, some people might think they don’t need Bible study because they’ve been a Christian their whole life and think they know the Bible well enough. I’m sorry to break it to you, but no one—not your pastor, not your grandma, and not Martin Luther—can ever exhaust the Scriptures.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us,
The word of God is living and active.
So God’s work in teaching us through His Word is never complete!
I want to offer up a prayer for you and your congregation as you gear up to start your fall Bible studies. Blessings on your study this fall!
Father God, thank You for the churches around the world that are studying Your Word together. Pour out Your blessings on their study and encourage all people to attend to draw closer to You. Amen.
If you want some guidance on starting or leading a Bible study, check out The Ultimate Beginner Bible Study Leader Guide!