Many of us have been members of various Bible studies or small group studies, and we are accustomed to a format that focuses primarily on learning more information. Very few of us have belonged to a group that focuses on actual obedience to Jesus, setting goals each week and holding each other accountable to carrying out those goals.
Unfortunately, words like obedience, discipline and accountability have been given a bad reputation among Christian circles and are often considered to be associated with words like legalism, conservatism or religion.
And while there are definitely some Christians out there who contribute to giving these words a bad reputation, we need to avoid the temptation to throw them out altogether.
Obedience, discipline and accountability are good.
Jesus declared that we cannot declare him to be Lord and yet not obey what he has ordered us to do. He also spoke often about a day of judgement where people will be held accountable for what they do and say here on earth. And the very nature of the word disciple and being a disciple of Jesus assumes and requires a commitment to discipline.
At the heart of all of this, we must remember that Jesus told his first followers: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
Obedience is Jesus' love language, and it is our obedience to his commands that expresses our love for him.
Obedience is Jesus' love language.
Therefore, we have written and produced a study series that we hope will transform the way people think about Bible study.
The Basic Commands of Christ series is a seven-part series that is focused on obeying Jesus, setting goals and holding each other accountable to carrying out those goals. It is a seven-part series; not a seven-week series. It is not intended or expected to be completed in just seven total meetings. And this again will require many of us to change our view of what a small group study looks like.
The focus of each study in this seven-part series is for each member of the group to actual start obeying the specific command being studied that week and to develop new habits of obedience related to that command.
This may take time!
If the group is struggling to obey the command studied or doesn't carry out the goals that were set then the group DOES NOT move on to the next command in the series. Instead, the group takes another week or two and graciously encourages and helps one another by discussing the difficulties and challenges that were faced when they tried to obey the command or carry out the goals.
While this may sound uncomfortable to some, we must come to understand that having to spend an extra week or two on the same command is not failure; it is a good and healthy part of the process. We must realize that the goal here is for everyone in the group to learn new habits and a new way of life based on the life and teachings of Jesus.
Again, this is going to take some time, and we need to be okay with that.
The goal of the Basic Commands of Christ series is not for people to learn new information but for people to experience life transformation. We want those who participate in this series to become new people who live a new way of life that is being shaped by some of the most basic commands given by Jesus himself.
The goal of the Basic Commands of Christ series is not for people to learn new information but for people to experience life transformation.
This series can be viewed by clicking below and is primarily intended to be used within a group by having everyone download and use the UPI Grow App.