Prayer and Social Times are Important

April 25, 2007 | Comments Off on Prayer and Social Times are Important

How often to you take an evening off from your study? It’s easy to become a little compulsive about staying on track, finishing the study, and moving on to the next one. In my early years of leading Bible studies, this was me. I just didn’t see a lot of value in slowing down and taking time to catch up with the members. We covered a lot of territory, but I was diligent to make time for sharing and prayer, so it seemed that we were connecting at a pretty deep level. (If making time for sharing and prayer is a problem in your group,  sign up for my newsletter in the upper right corner of this page and receive the free download, Making Time for Prayer.)

The group we’re in now is much more “hang loose.” We study for awhile, and then take a week or two off for sharing, prayer, and often a potluck. As much growth happens during these times as during the study times. And the informal times stretch those of us who are more structured and honor those who are more relational.

As we share our joys, sorrows, prayer needs, and family issues, we grow in ways that simply don’t happen in a Bible study. So do we throw out the Bible studies? Of course not!  In fact, I still believe they need to comprise at least 70 to 75% of our time together. But taking a break now and then enriches your group.

So what does this have to do with challenging people? Well, while challenging people definitely need to learn how to apply the Bible to their lives, they also need to learn how to function in community. Being part of a group where people are simply having fun, eating, loving one another, and bearing one another’s burdens is another skill set that many challenging people lack. They, perhaps more than the rest of us, need to learn to “be” in a social setting.

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