“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is a saying that most of us have probably heard. But, we are not dogs! We are followers of Jesus. We are people who continue to grow and learn until our lives are over. The cartilage in our bodies continues to grow, including our noses and ears. We also can continue to grow in wisdom and knowledge of God.
This spiritual discipline is an act of piety. It allows us to reflect upon our lives and God. These acts of reflection prepare us to receive God’s grace more fully. Study allows our minds to grow. When we study with a group of other people, we are able to grow even more because we have the benefit of their knowledge. We can learn more when we study together.
We also have the chance to grow our relationships with others which is an added benefit to becoming involved in a study or small group. Church membership is not required to get involved. Below are some of the types of classes and groups:
Bible Study: God has given us the Bible so that we may learn about God. There are many ways to study the Bible. Some of these studies occur during a morning class such as Sunday school. Some of these are long term studies. Others focus on a specific biblical theme.
Virtual Classes: These on-line classes offer a digital class experience. Some of the course are at a specific time and offer interaction with the group while others are done at your own pace and in your own time. Many of these are offered through the United Methodist Church.
Workshops: These are usually one or two days and focus on a specific topic. We often have workshops with outside trainers and teachers to gain new knowledge.
Book Study: The number of times these groups gather can vary. Some will meet once to discuss a specific book while other groups will meet over a course of weeks to glean insight from a book. These are great opportunities for those who like to have time to process information before sharing thoughts about the information presented.
Thematic Study: Sometimes we want to delve into a topic or theme. These studies can vary in length, but they are usually focused around a specific topic. Our church is focusing on spiritual disciplines, so we will have a study on prayer as well as Sabbath.
There are many types of classes and ways to get involved. The important thing is that we never stop growing. In order to grow, we must find time for growth, study, and fellowship.