Call it a home group. Call it a cell group. Call it a care group. Call it a kinship. Or, simply use the traditional name and call it a Bible Study. Either way, some of you may have been wondering, “How do I start one of these things?” or, “Should I start one of these things? Please help me, I’d like to know more.” If this question has been on your mind or, even if it hasn’t, consider the following:
(1) God commands His disciples — that is you and me — to “go and make more disciples.” When Jesus was about to leave, He gave us the great commission. It applies to all of us — not to missionaries or to church leaders only, but, by logical extension of the passage, to everyone who calls himself a disciple of Christ. Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20). We should therefore teach others on a regular basis — because Jesus has commanded it.
(2) Jesus said that whoever believes in Him would do even greater things than He Himself did. Surely, this includes teaching the gospel to others! Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12). The fact that Jesus was going to the Father would actually enable us — in some special way — to do even “greater works” than Jesus Himself did. That may mean, for example, making more disciples than Jesus Himself did, or, it may have to do with some other factor which some people have discussed at length. Surely, though, it must easily include teaching the gospel. So, we have not really been left with the “choice” to teach the gospel message to others. Jesus expects it of us in this verse.
(3) In Matthew 5:19, Jesus said the following words, “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; BUT WHOEVER KEEPS AND TEACHES THEM, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19). Jesus is encouraging us here, to teach the Bible message to others — not so that we will be called “great,” but so that we will enter in to God’s favor as we do. We need to assure ourselves that we are doing the right thing. We can assure ourselves and our hearts before God by following His commandments and doing those things that Jesus Himself says will gain God’s favor in our lives. (I’m not talking about a works-righteousness here. But the logical extension of being a believer is to begin to do these things).
If these three things are then true — (1) We have been commanded to teach the message of God’s Word to others (Matthew 28:18-20); (2) Jesus expects us to teach the message of God’s Word to others (John 14:12); and, (3) We shall gain God’s favor as we teach God’s Word to others (Matthew 5:19) — what then should our response be? Or, what then “is” our response? “Lord, use me to teach Your word to others. I am hungry to do Your will!” I believe one of the very best ways to go about starting to do this is to simply say to yourself, “Lord, I’ll be consistent about it. Help me establish a weekly Bible Study in my home, or at some convenient location no too far from all the others whom You want to invite.”
You may not be an experienced Bible teacher. That should not prevent you from getting the ball rolling. Expect God to meet you along the way, as you take those first steps, in faith. Expect God to provide for all your needs, including good Bible teachers, etc. He will do that, and much more, because of your faith.
Truly our God is an awesome God, and desires to use you to reach others for the kingdom of God. Won’t you trust Him today, and take that step of faith that maybe you’ve been thinking about taking for some time? One step will lead to another — one step at a time — until it has given full birth to what God has intended to accomplish in your midst. Let Him accomplish that, as He sees fit. Don’t be hindered by what others may think (including your pastor, for example, whom you may tend to “fear” in an unnatural way). God will do what He has purposed. Let Him use you! Be willing to be used by Him — yes, even if that means “denying yourself” to the fullest. Cannot, and will not, God use you as He has purposed? You will become a blessing to others, and God’s people will all be refreshed.