We all know instinctively that a lack of human connection is bad for us. But there is growing evidence that emotional and social disconnection could be even worse for our health than smoking, obesity or high blood pressure! In fact, studies have shown that those who maintain close relational networks with others have up to a 50% increased chance of a long life.
God never intended His people to live a ‘God, my Bible and me’ lifestyle; He designed us to live and grow together in Him and in His Word. If you’ve found yourself longing for meaningful community lately, it might just be the perfect time for you to start or join a group Bible study! Get inspired by the following benefits our WordGo Guides and members experience through studying Scripture together.
Bible study groups that meet once a month or more provide a reliable rhythm of connection, as well as the time and space for developing genuine, lasting friendships. They also offer a natural first step towards nurturing those relationships in meaningful and biblical ways between organized gatherings.
Glenda shared with us some of the ways her group naturally connects between meetups: 'Members have supported other members by being at the hospital during surgery, writing cards, sharing rides and having lunch between our scheduled gatherings.'
Human beings are wired to bond; that’s why feeling heard and understood is so central to lasting, healthy relationships. A Bible study that doesn’t create space for sharing life’s ups and downs can quickly become a mere knowledge-building exercise. But when believers from all walks of life sit around an open Bible and are transparent with one another, love, grace and mercy flows.
That’s why those who use WordGo to study together talk about their groups bringing “...renewed spiritual intimacy with family members;” staying “...connected to God and to each other”; experiencing “...deep sharing prompted by good questions”; and enjoying freedom to “...study with openness and be ourselves.”
When we make a commitment to studying Scripture with others, we’re more likely to show up on our good days and bad days. We learn what it means to know and be known and, most importantly, to grow alongside other believers. If someone shares a goal for positive change, other members can ask how it went the next time they get together. A friendly, supportive atmosphere where acceptance and accountability coincide has powerful potential for heart transformation and motivation to keep going! As one of our WordGo members described,
A lack of close fellowship with other believers can leave us susceptible to listening to the wrong voices in our lives. In a group Bible study setting, we hear multiple voices reminding us of God’s deep love, truth and faithfulness displayed in every page of Scripture. In times of weariness and weakness, this allows us to “... be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.” (Romans 1:12)
As Gemma reported of her group, “it is lovely to purposefully set aside time to meet with friends, to see their faces, hear their voices, and to be encouraged and empathized with. Sometimes you spend so much time in your own head it is good to be able to talk things through, as what you understand from the Text can be different from others.”
When believers dwell in the Word of God, it draws them closer together. Very different people become united by the same burning desire: to learn more about God and become more like Him. As we read together, we learn how God deals lovingly with imperfect people just like us; we are reminded of our shared identity as sinners saved by grace; we are motivated by our common goal to serve God and spread His good news; and we stand together on a foundation of unshakeable truth in a shaky world.
Loria testified how, for her group, “Sharing the same desire to study the word of God and grow in our faith with a group of friends has created connection.”
Are you longing to make meaningful, Christ-centred relationships? Small group Bible studies are the perfect context to deepen your connection, accountability, encouragement and unity with others. If you want to experience this kind of community, there’s no day like today! Download our free, fully-resourced WordGo Bible study app, gather your friends, and get started on that journey.
House, J.S., Landis, K. R. and D. Umberson 1988 ‘Social relationships and health.’ Science 241 (4865): 540-545