Sharing in Bible study is often thought of as a means of passing on what you learn to others. But that is only one purpose. I would suggest three major purposes:
- Generate new ideas through cross-polination
Sharing ideas helps create new ones as people, and their ideas, interact.
- Provide accountability
Often a student will get what seems like a brilliant idea when studying. A new, creative idea may be brilliant, or it might be silly, or even dangerous. When you check your idea with someone else, they will often help you find the weaknesses.
- Share information
This is the traditional role.
GUIDELINES FOR SHARING
Here are some guidelines I recommend to study groups for effective sharing. You can add this: Make sure you DO SHARE!
- Sharing does not mean that you find something you can tell someone else. You may find something to tell someone, but you may find something you would like to learn from someone else.
- Think about what you can learn. What is it that you could gain by listening to what someone else says?
- Think about what the other person needs and wants to hear, not about what you need to say. You may have a very helpful thought, but you may share it with someone who is dealing with completely different problems and cannot relate to what you share.
- Even when you share something by speaking to someone, be prepared to listen to their response. The time for listening is always now.
- Don’t be discouraged when people don’t get as excited as you are about your discovery. They may not be at a place in their lives where they can use it, or they may have discovered it years ago just when they needed it, and it’s old now.
- Listen more than you talk.