When I first began reading and actually studying the bible five years ago, I studied alone. I found free online bible studies that had outlines of what to read each day and I journaled what spoke to me. This was a time of tremendous growth for me as a Christian. I learned that you can take your time when you read the bible and that is how to really listen to what God has to say through His word. It just worked for me.
After about a year, I was searching for a new study one day and happened upon one that allowed you to join groups of other women to study together. I read about how it worked. Some groups were through Facebook while others were through email or text messages but all of them had one basic idea. You had an outline of what to read each weekday but were asked to check in with your group and share your thoughts once a day.
I will admit, I was reluctant to join. I was use to reading alone with just me and God and I felt no pressure, but I felt like He was leading me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to help me to continue to grow. I posted that I was looking for other homeschooling moms in the forum this online study had and quickly received an invitation to join an email group that had already formed that was looking to add a new member. I now know now that this was a divine appointment that would forever change my life, but at the time I was a little afraid. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know as much as the other ladies in the group. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have something to share each day. I was afraid that I would somehow be judged as I had before by other Christian women… BUT, I did it afraid. I jumped in and prayed for the Lord to lead me and teach me.
I am still with that group 4 years later. I have learned so much and most importantly I met women that shared real struggles that real Christian women experience but often don’t discuss with people face to face. It has grown me in ways that I never expected.
So for those of you that have never studied the bible in a group or at all for that matter, I want to share with you the benefits of an online bible study in a group.
Benefits of Online Group Bible Study:
1. It motivates you to get in the word
Studying alone is wonderful but when you know that there are other people that are expecting you to read and share your thoughts, it adds motivation to take the time to do your bible study each day. To be honest there are days when I just don’t feel like getting up early to do my bible study and there are days when I have so much to do that I feel like I don’t have the time to sit down and read the bible let alone write about it. Just keeping it real here. I do know that God should come first before anything else, but sometimes the enemy fills your days with distractions and is successful at throwing you off course. Knowing that I have other people holding me accountable to share what I learn each day helps me to keep my focus.
I can’t tell you how much I look forward to reading my group’s emails in the morning and evening. We don’t set a specific time that anyone has to post their email because we are all on different schedules and we all do our studying at various times. We are also understanding if someone isn’t able to email their thoughts every single day. So while it adds some accountability, it doesn’t make anyone feel pressured.