My church’s small groups started meeting together again last night, and this week I benefited immensely from reading this practical and insightful new book:
Orlando Saer. Iron Sharpens Iron: Leading Bible-Oriented Small Groups That Thrive. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2010. 142 pp.
In the opening chapter (which you can read here), Saer explains three pitfalls and four benefits of small group Bible study (pp. 10–22):
Potential Pitfalls of Small Group Bible Study
- The vertical pushed out by the horizontal: they can turn into little more than social groups.
- The message sidelined by the method: members can become addicts to one way of encountering God.
- The blind led by the blind: meetings can become simply opportunities to pool ignorance.
Benefits of Small Group Bible Study
- A good place to listen to God: each can help the others study the Bible.
- A good place to talk to God: each can pray for the others in an informed way.
- A good place to care for one another: each can carry the others’ burdens.
- A good place from which to reach the lost: members can work together to advance the gospel.