Yesterday I posted a blog about the Alpha Course and today I felt it only right that I blog about another course which is close to my heart and that is BSF (Bible Study Fellowship).
In April of this year I joined BSF in the hope that I could meet and interact with other Christian woman and have an opportunity to discuss matters of faith with them. BSF has met these hopes of mine and more.
Bible Study Fellowship brings Christians together in groups to explore Scripture and relate the Word of God to our daily lives. Learning how to put my faith into practice is what I value most about my time at BSF. Each week I come away feeling closer to God, knowing more about the nature of God, and knowing how I can practice my faith in my family life, my friendships, my neighbourhood, my church, my studies and every other aspect of my life. Another aspect which I am grateful to this course for is my ability to speak in front of others. When I joined this course, I was extremely nervous, and I thought that I would just sit back and listen to what others had to say. However, this did not materialise. The environment that BSF adopts is so loving and inclusive that you are likely to find yourself completely at ease, not feeling as though your responses will be judged and confident that if you need to raise something more personal and deep in nature, that the group will be very supportive.
Now to how it works. If you would like to find out if there is a course in your area please visit www.bsfinternational.org. Of course, due to Covid regulations, meetings are all virtual at the moment so, in effect, you could join a group anywhere, but, as the groups are likely to return to normal post Covid it may be best to find a group that you will be able to attend. However, if there is not one in your locale perhaps email someone for advice? BSF is a worldwide organisation so hopefully there is a group out there for everyone. There are women’s classes, men’s classes, young adult classes, school programs and preschool programmes.
When you have found something in your locality signing up is easy. When you have signed up you will receive an email with instructions as to what happens next. I did find it a little confusing to start with regarding which notes, and questions related to that particular week but one of the leaders was exceedingly kind to me and helped me by means of text, email, and a voice message!
In preparation for the week’s class you must print off or request printed copies of the questions (if neither is possible, I guess you could just work off your computer or phone?). Read the prescribed Scripture and answer the questions. You do not have to worry if there are some you prefer not to answer or that you find confusing. Just listen to what others have to say about that particular question and take notes. In the small breakout groups in the class you will discuss your answers to the questions, of course, speaking is entirely voluntary and if you want to just listen in for a while to get used to things that is perfectly alright. Some people are more willing to talk than others and this is natural. Once the class is finished there is a lecture to watch which summarises all of the things you have learnt that week along with notes to read to further summarise and then you are back to reading the Bible and answering the questions in preparation for the following week’s class.
Have a look through the website where you will also find a wonderful Prayer Guide and other information. Although not in everyone’s budget they do offer trips to the Holy Land which certainly look as if they would be the trip of a lifetime. The tour guides are all deeply knowledgeable and would have a fantastic understanding of the Holy Land and how it relates to Scripture.
In my blog on Alpha that I published yesterday you will see my views on virtual classes and how, for those who fear going into environments they are unsure of or speaking in front of others, this is a fantastic way to learn and meet new people without the associated pressures. Now is the time to try Bible Study Fellowship and I pray that you get from it as much as I have.
Of course, if you find you are unable to attend BSF because of your locale or the timings of the classes please look around for other bible studies that may benefit you. Perhaps ask your church if they have any or if they know of churches nearby that have organised one. If it appears as though there are no bible studies in your area perhaps consider getting a group together and forming your own bible study. There are apps online which can help with content such as Wordgo which was created by Bible Study Fellowship. Bible studies are so important to enhance Scripture.
Lord, I pray that you guide your children towards places of learning. We know that the church is designed to teach yet the church has many more demands placed upon it. As a church we are to worship, to pray and to support each other and some weeks we may not learn from the Word as much as we should and this is where a Bible Study group fills any gap that may have arisen. Without a sound understanding of your Word, Lord, how are we to understand your nature, how are we to get to know you intimately. I pray that you guide your children to learn more about you and where there is a lack of teaching please place teachers in their midst. We ask these things in the glorious and majestic name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Love and Blessings