A Journey into BSF
Last September, I joined BSF – Bible Study Fellowship. BSF is a nine month bible study (Sept-May) that meets weekly to dive into God’s word. I have heard of BSF from some women in my church, and a few of my friends who I considered to be “hard core” Christians – the bible scholarly type. In other words, not me. I was afraid that I would be embarrassed because I didn’t have enough bible verses memorized, or that if I did join – I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work. The list goes on and on… I had a ton of reasons for NOT joining. A good friend of mine encouraged me to come and just “check it out”. No judgment if I decided it wasn’t my thing. So I went. And it has literally changed my view of God.
Last year we studied the book of Isaiah. We spent 9 months walking through every verse of this amazing book of the old testament. In a nutshell, I learned about God’s faithfulness to his people. I learned about His purity, and about His unfailing love. What stood out the most to me was the uncompromising message of judgment and grace, and how it must be proclaimed! Studying the book of Isaiah through BSF taught me more about God’s character than any other bible study I had ever done.
I love the 4-step approach that BSF takes to studying the bible. It is systematic, and thorough. It challenges you to go deeper, and gives you the tools to understand what you are reading.
Step one: Study on your own. Each week at BSF, the small group leader gives you a handout with questions for that week. The questions will lead you through a section of the bible – usually 1-3 chapters. The questions are divided into 6 days, and each day should take 20-30 minutes. I did what I could with the time I had each week – and found myself feeling blessed with however I got the work done. I decided I couldn’t be legalistic about how, when or where I studied. The fact that I had a bible open, and I was spending time with God was what mattered.
Step two: Discuss. After spending the week studying on your own, it’s time to come to class and share your findings. I loved this part! I was free to share when I felt led to share, and could stay quiet when I needed to just listen. Some questions are specific to the bible passage, other questions asked how we have applied a particular truth to our own lives. Love it.
Step three: Listen. After the discussion group, we would gather as a big group to listen to a lecture on the same passage. This is where I felt I really got a firm hold on what the bible was teaching.
Step four: Read. At the end of the lecture, you receive a set of notes to read on the passage of scripture. This last step cemented in what I learned.
I found myself absolutely delighting in God’s word. I felt drawn to my study each week. I know that the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to open my heart and my mind to BSF.
This year’s study is on the book of Acts. I know this study will be rich and full of promise. If you’d like to join a group, I want to encourage you to check out the website this week. Groups start the week after Labor day – go to www.bsfinternational.com , and click on “find a class”.
I am feeling that familiar “nudge”, that yearning to learn more about my God. I can’t wait to get started. Want to join me?