GSM Bible Class: Building Intentional Community March 17, 2017
Last Wednesday evening, Bettie Mitchell and her team of teachers finished their ten-week exploration of the New Testament. Each year, twenty to thirty people show up on these nights to experience more than just a class about the Bible – they come to experience the Bible in the context of a holy community.
What makes this class a community? The people, of course, but more so, the intention of the people. We can only build community intentionally. To facilitate this community building, there are two principles we uphold in the class:
- The teachers surrender the locus of control to the people in the audience, and when they do so, they invite them to be the teachers. Therefore, anyone who asks or answers a question, is at that moment, the teacher. This class is not a place where one person comes with the answers to the great mysteries of the Bible, rather through interaction and surrender; we explored the vastness of the Word as co-pilgrims.
- Each person loves and is loved exactly where he or she is.
As a casual student of theology, I have noticed that love for one another is often the first thing that goes out the window when we gather to discuss the Word of God. Sometimes our desire to be right gets in the way of truly loving one another. At Good Samaritan Ministries, we believe in the absolute, objective truth that exists through the person of Jesus Christ and revealed through the Scriptures, and yet we live in the tension that in our exploration of truth, we are but limited human beings – we can only see one small footstep ahead of where we are.
Out of these two governing principles, this class grows to become a meeting place of friends on a journey. This year we gathered around the topic of authority that permeated each class, supernaturally. We were stunned as week upon week the Holy Spirit wove together this central theme through each new topic. More than anything, the working of God surprised me in my own heart – teaching me to love and accept the people He brought to teach me.Each time we learn how to love a little better, we are made more whole and brought deeper into communion with the One who prayed that we would be one.
Next year we gather again for ten weeks to study the Old Testament. If you are interested in Teacher Training, Bettie Mitchell teaches a class every two months called “Generation Training”. Participants in this class are assigned to teach the Bible Class next year.
Check the Calendar on GoodSamaritanMinistries.org/classes to attend the next class.
Submitted By Bethany Stroup,