We will be starting Biblical Training Groups this fall, 2022 as a resource for our church. These groups will begin the first week of October, and will be a new annual resource for our church to utilize throughout each year.
Biblical Training Groups are intended to help grow our church in discipleship, relationship and biblical understanding. They are called Biblical Training Groups for two reasons.
First, it has always been of value for the church to grow in understanding the things of God and how to live in light of what we learn. There are many helpful resources available that can help accomplish that goal, BiblicalTraining.org being one of those resources. BiblicalTraining.org provides free courses taught by seminary professors and seasoned church leaders, organized into three levels of learning: Foundations, Academy and the Institute. Foundations has to do with giving a solid foundation for your faith. Academy digs in a little deeper and will be slightly more advanced. The Institute is for serious study and is more complex.
Our church formally offers the Foundations and Academy level courses, but the Institute is available for anyone who would like to go through it. These courses cover a wide range of topics and they have been organized and given without cost for the sole purpose of giving churches access to resources that can encourage spiritual growth in the local church. Our use of this site is what prompted the name “Biblical Training Groups”.
Second, we are offering these courses as small groups rather than classes. Each group will be hosted by someone in the church, typically out of their home. This gives the opportunity for hospitality. The person who is hosting doesn’t need to be an expert on the material covered in the course, but they will be responsible for introducing a few questions at the beginning of each group meeting. They will also be responsible for scheduling the meetings and any other logistical needs that arise.
The format for these group meetings is as follows and in this order:
The format is set up this way to promote active learning (discussing the topic before in depth exposure to it), passive learning (watching or listening to a lecture on the topic), and intentional response (thinking intentionally about the topic and how it should affect day to day life), and dependence upon the Lord (offering up our need for his help in these things).
These groups will operate as temporary small groups each fall and spring. There are certain courses that groups will cover in the fall, and other courses that will be covered in the spring. These courses will repeat on an annual basis. Groups will meet once per week, and will continue for as many weeks as determined by the number of sessions per course. Some groups may meet for five to ten weeks or more over the course of the fall or spring, others may meet for thirty weeks or more, beginning in the fall and ending in the spring. The groups are meant to be temporary, but intentional.
These groups are not a replacement for the small groups that are ongoing throughout the course of each year, but are meant to be utilized as an additional opportunity for people who would like to grow in specific areas while gaining relationships that they may not have had otherwise. If someone were to decide to be on a typical small group as well as a Biblical Training group then they are free to attend those two meetings each week, or they can decide to do one and not the other for a season.
Small group leaders are also free to host a group or to encourage their group to join them in going to a Biblical Training Group for a time. Hopefully these groups will provide many additional ways to do discipleship, gain a wider scope of relationships, increase the biblical understanding of the church, and also provide ways for out current small groups to participate in other ways if they so choose.
Each fall and spring, the courses for each group will be announced. This means that we need someone to host one of those groups in order for it to happen. If you would like to host, simply speak to one of the pastors and express that interest as well as sign up to host at the following links: Fall 2022 / Spring 2023. Hosts will then be given the opportunity to announce to the church what course they will be hosting, the duration of that group, where the group will meet and so on.
Hosts will then need to enroll in the course on BiblicalTraining.org and can either host the group within the BiblicalTraining.org website itself or the Biblical Training app, or they can choose to use a Slack channel for group communication. We encourage hosts to gain some familiarity with the course they are hosting, but hosts do not need to watch or listen to every lecture prior to hosting.
The host can determine the limits for their group with regard to how many people can attend. We would suggest that a group can meet with as little as three people including the host, or as many as ten to twelve, but the host is free to allow more than that amount if logistically possible.
If you would like to join one of these groups speak to the host of the group, enroll in that course through BiblicalTraining.org or the Biblical Training app and then either join that host’s group on BiblicalTraining.org or join the Slack channel for that group. Both hosts and group members will then communicate the plan for the duration of the group.
These groups are meant to be a short term, intentional commitment for hosts and members. Once the group is done meeting, people are free to host or join other Biblical Training groups that are offered, or they can join an ongoing small group instead.
Biblical Training Groups will be offered annually in the fall and in the spring. BiblicalTraining.org offers more courses that can be covered over the summer months if anyone would like to host or attend a group, but choosing the course will be up to host. These courses would be in the Foundations, Academy and Institute under the Electives heading.
This the current plan for Biblical Training Groups for the fall and spring, including the expected amount of weeks needed to get through each course:
Life is a Journey – 12 sessions
Understanding the Old Testament – 18 sessions