I’ve probably already mentioned this, but I am attending a Sunday School class for adults at our church on Sunday mornings. Yesterday was the third Sunday for this class. And for the first time in many years, I’m not leading the class.
Our pastor’s wife is leading the class. She’s a very intelligent woman, and I’m also happy to say that her faith and orthodox beliefs are also quite clear. It’s always nice to have a teacher in the UMC who holds strongly to a high Christological position, as she and her husband both do. The entire class, as far as I can tell, are also quite evangelical, which has also been my experience in the past in this church. The ones who really believe are the ones who join Bible study classes. It’s no surprise.
I am really enjoying the fellowship and discussion with these people, and I am also pleased to report our class size has also grown each Sunday. I think the first Sunday was nine people, then twelve, and yesterday we had sixteen, when the pastor came in and joined us.
The pastor’s wife is using the NIV Serendipity Bible in her teaching, mainly because it has discussion questions in the margin for easy prodding of discussion. They aren’t always very good questions though; at least they make people think a little bit. I’m also frustrated, once again, by the limited amount of time we have for the class. A half hour to forty-five minutes is barely enough to scratch the surface of a book like Romans. And like most groups, we have such a diversity of personalities so we very quickly get sidetracked into other things. But even so, it’s a good discussion, and even though we aren’t delving deeply into the book, we are having some real fellowship with other believers in the church. That is one thing that has long been a problem for believers in our church, because many times we don’t know each other very well, and so we don’t really know who is a believer and who is just there for the social and feel-good time. By seeing who is there, and by listening to what they say, I can get a pretty good idea.
The first Sunday was just an introduction to the class and to Romans. The second Sunday we talked about the first few verses. Yesterday we touched on the rest of chapter one. Note that I said “touched on”. There is really no pretense that this will be any kind of a “real” Bible study of the sort that I would teach. But there really don’t seem to be many people in our church who are interested in a deep, slow Bible study, or who are actually interested in it for that matter.
Even so, this is a good time for us, a good time in that we have fellowship based on the teachings of the Bible. I am getting to know some people in such a setting, and they are getting to know me. Hopefully I will be able to identify a few who would be more willing to undertake a good, slow, deep Bible study with me in the future.
(As far as that goes, we never did finish our study of John. We got up to chapter 17, which could make for a good, relatively short, deep study sometime if I can convince anybody to do it with me, and with the season of Lent coming up shortly, it could be a good passage to pursue. And then maybe I could convince a few to continue to the end of the gospel.)