We’ve joined a lovely new small group at church. I’ve written some concerns already. I am now about to burn out. They decided, since it’s new, to just be light. One person, sometimes two give their “testimony.” Then, we might discuss what we learned from the sermon. Then we have prayer requests and prayer. There’s food, there’s talk, and that’s fine and dandy. They’ve been really supportive of us and have helped us already with some problems in our life…stepped up when our prayer requests were tough. We’ve only been meeting since September, only every other week. But now, I’m about to go really crazy. I do not really enjoy the long personal stories too much. I mean, I like getting to know the people, but I am afraid we’ll NEVER get to the bible. This is not what I want in a group. I am so over becoming family in small group. I believe if we get together FOR BIBLE STUDY, the fellowship will just happen organically. I also believe, if we are accountable to a pastor or pastors for what is being taught, that is the BEST model. I think we need to read the bible and if we discuss, it should not be about what we THINK the text means. It should be led by someone who knows what they are doing and has some qualification (not a divinity degree…but some understanding of scriptures) to teach. I came from a fluffy church, and there were some really intelligent people in our groups, but there were also some shallow people. Some of the leadership involved just simple books with simple answers to the questions. There were organized agendas (like get people involved in group service). There were even whole church studies of books (like Purpose Driven Church and such). I hated the simple stuff, and yearned for study. We did get some study…and I’m experiencing this now. I want study. I don’t want us to change what the bible says or to share too much of our personal experiences. I want to study the bible and learn about God. Period.